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Exciting accounts of Jimmie Garrison's ancestors are contained in this rare first edi- 
tion of A. J. Sowell's 'Texas Indian Fighters." Jimmie and his aunt, Mrs. Miller Stew- 
art, a Houston book reviewer, examine the volume. 

Pioneer Heritage 


Chronicle Correspondent 

Jimmie Garrison, a 7-year-old Hondo boy, 
is like most youngsters his age — up to a point. 
But when the others troop to a local movie 
to watch a Hollywood version of fights be- 
tween early settlers and painted savages, 
young Jimmie isn't interested. He'd rather 
iear of the battles from his relatives. 

He often visits two great-aunts, Misses 
Louisa and Lena Decker, living near Hondo 
in their ancestral ranch home. Schoolday 
memories of these two include running fran- 
tically home from school, a little ahead of the 
sound of bells on Comanches' horses. 

For several years, a Comanche warrior's 
skull hung from a limb of.a tree in the Decker 
yard. The Comanche was slain in a battle 
between settlers and Indians in which Jim- 
mie's great-grandfather, Joseph Decker, and 
two great-great uncles, Louis Decker and 
Xavier Wantz, took part. The fight occurred 
when these men followed Indians who had 
raided their settlement near Hondo, driving 
off most of the settlers' horses. The Deckers 
and Wantz, although outnumbered, fought the 
Indians until the latter "fled. 

After the Indians retreated, the settlers 
found the body of one warrior lying beneath 
his horse in a cedarbrake. When the Deckers 
and Wantz returned to the settlement with the 
slain Indian's bow and arrows and told of 
killing him, other settlers were skeptical, since 
Comanches rarely left slain warriors behind. 
It was their belief that he would not reach 
the "Happy Hunting Ground" without tribal 

Settlers from miles around came to view 

pile of rocks in 

gully. Later, his bones 
Iter heavy rains and his 
a tree in the Decker yard. 

A maternal great-great-grandfather to Jim- 
mie, John Reinhart, a pioneer settler in Medina 
County, was a noted Indian fighter. He was 
in a fight with Apaches while on a cattle drive 
to the Pecos River and also in a battle with 
them near the Devil's River, as well as in skir- 
mishes with Comanches near his home com- 
munity. In 1861 he became a Texas Ranger 
and was on numerous scouting trips against 
raiding Indians. 

Jimmie Garrison's favorite picnic spot near 
Hondo is at Eagle's Bluff. And it was at this 
site that one of his great-great-uncles, August 
Rothe, another pioneer settler in Medina 
County, was almost captured by wild Indians. 

It was in the spring of 1865 and August, 
then 18, and three companions went from 
their homes on Seco Creek to Hondo Creek 
searching for strayed oxen. They made camp 
on a bluff bank, called Eagle's Bluff, and on 
the third day were attacked by Indians. One 
boy had returned home earlier and thus es- 
caped the attack. Another, who was captured, 
was never heard from again, and another was 
killed at a water hole at the foot of Eagle's 
Bluff. Young Rothe, pursued by Indians 
shooting arrows at him, managed to escape by 
running up a steep hillside, difficult for the 
Indians' horses to ascend. 

He barely 

were in such fear of the pistol he waved to-' 
ward them as he ran. 

On the way to Bandera one day, August 
Rothe and a brother were in another fight 
with Indians but escaped injury. In 1873, 
August had his last bout with Indians, near 
the Medina River. They tried to i 
but he managed 
last wild Indians he ever saw. 

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In the following pages the author has attempted to recite 
what is yet the unwritten history of life on the border, especially 
in Southwest Texas. Many brave and heroic men have lived 
and died, and did their country glorious service upon the 
frontier of Texas, whose names as yet have found no place in 
history. They were the men who cut the brush and blazed the 
way for immigration, and drove the wild beast and wilder men 
from the path of 'civilization. They bore the heat and burden 
of the day, and their deeds should live like monuments in the 
hearts of their countrymen. Where commerce now holds its 
busy and prosperous marts was then the camping ground and 
rendezvous of these rangers and pioneers. The incidents of 
history herein contained have been gathered from sources most 
reliable, and he who peruses this volume may feel assured that 
be is not reading fiction, but facts which form a part of the 
frontier history of Texas, If this' work serves one of the pur- 
posts for which it was written, i. e., that the names of these good 
and brave men and women be not forgotten and the writer 
occupy one fresh, green spot in the folds of their memory, he 
will not think his labor has been in vain. And now, to the 
pioneers of Texas and to their descendants is this work 
dedicated by 

The Author. 


Atascosa Count}', Early Settlers of 249 

Adams, James M , . 582 

Boales, J. A 295 

Berry, Mrs. Hannah 46 

Burrell. Joseph 141 

Bracks, Judge Bernhard 159 

Binnion, Mrs. M. A. . 337 

Briggs, Rev. E. A 343 

Bowles, Doke 383 

Bracks, Henry 368 

Bramlett, W. M . 397 

Battles With Indians 399 

Bowie's Old Fort 405 

Buokalew, Frank, Captured by Indians 587 

Buckalew, Berry C 591 

Battle Between Rangers and Indians 642 

Beardy Hall Killed by Indians 736 

Burney, E. H 841 

Castro. Henry 105 

Conrads, Joseph 114 

Castro's Diary, Part I , 119 

Castro's Diary, Part II 126 

Castro's Diary, Part III 131 

Carr, James C. (Buckskin) 165 

Castroville Founded 137 

Charobiny, Rudolph 347 

Canon de Uvalde 401 

Click, M. C : 508 

Clark, Amasa 519 

Calahan's Expedition 530 

Cox Family as Indian Fight( rs 602 

Captured an Indian 692 

Carr. Col. J. C 761 


Colonel Can's Courtship in Arkansaw 7 (35 

Camp Verde . . . . 710 

Colwell, Capt. Neal 720 

Davenport, A. J 106 

Dove Creek Fight 205 

Davenport, Aunt. Mary 291 

Davenport, L. C . . 472 

Desperate Run for Life . ' 607 

Disastrous Battle With Indians in Kerr County 645 

Death of Capt. Phillip Dimmitt , 677 

Early History of Guadalupe County 409 

English, Ed 567 

Etter Family 782 

Frontier Tragedy 268 

Fight Between Rangers and Indians 271 

Fiftieth Anniversary of the D'Hanis Settlement 280 

First Settlement of D'Hanis 443 

Forty Immigrants from Darmstadt 663 

Fenley, J. D 672 

Four of the Dowdv Familv Killed 740 

Fight Between Settlers and Indians 742 

Frontier Incidents 7.35 

Family History 789 

Haby, Niehahis 97 

Huffman, Jack 828 

Highsmith, Ben F. . v y 1 

Haller, Louis 155 

Hays, Capt. Jack 331 

Huehner, Herrman 375 

Haby, Jacob 480 

Hicks, F. L 527 

Hunter, Judge James M 561 

Hartman, Henry 575 

Incidents of Frontier Life ' 275 

Incident of Ranger Life 148 

Indian Fight in Sabinal Canyon 381 

Incident of Victoria's Raid 731 

Jones, Mrs. Mahala 468 

Joe Wilton Killed bv Indians 539 


Jarvis, Charles G 620 

Jack, 1 Tardy, Captured by Indians 704 

James, Rev. A. L 713 

Kmchaloe, Mrs. Sarah ,] 90 

Kennedy, Mrs. R. 1) 257 

Kelly, Mrs. Nancy 460 

Killed an Indian 525 

Kennedy, Ross G51 

Lawhon, Jesse, Killed by Indians 246 

Last Indian Raid in Frio Canyon 513 

Lowe, Judge M. F 634 

Leakey, John 612 

Miller, Jack 220 

Mann, John L 170 

Massacre of Peddlers and Battle of El Blanco 434 

Moore. Lon 595 

Maney, Judge Henry 683 

Metzgar, Capt. Fred 776 

Nowlin, Dr. James C 696 

Old Settlers 453 

Old Settlers of D'Hanis 441 

Outlaw, Y. P 458 

Patterson, John W 188 

Putnam Children Captim d by Indians 339 

Peters. Charles 745 

Rothe, August , 233 

Reinhart, John 195 

Picharz, Capt. H. J 202 

Pees. Capt. Alonzo 638 

Rogers, Capt. John II 624 

Saatoff, M 811 

Shane, Henry 483 

Smith, Seco * 477 

Siege and Fall of the Alamo (Poetry) 772 

Sevier, Col. T. F 774 

Scull, Mrs. Amanda 835 

Tinsley, F. G 303 

Thompson, Gideon 206 

Tom, Capt. John 32 


Trailing Indians 503 

Taylor, Ed 610 

Taylor, Creed 805 

Trailing Indians 680 

Theodore the Shepherd Killed by Indians 7S5 

The Lost Valley Fight 798 

Van Pelt, Capt. Malcolm 223 

Van Pelt, Joe 261 

Voght, Paul 752 

Ware, Richard M 284 

Winters, Capt. James W . . . 38 

Wallace, Big Foot 52 

Wilson, John E 814 

Watson, Robert 178 

Weynand, Herbert 181 

Westfall, Ed 353 

Winters, James. Killed by Indians 498 

Witt, Mrs. C. A 536 

Wanz, Xavier 542 

Wernette, J. B 554 

Watkins and Richardson Killed by Indians 787 




Came to Texas in 1823. 

"Uncle Ben" Highsmith, as he is familiarly called by all who 
know him, is one of the most interesting characters at this time 
(1899) in Southwest Texas. He lives in Bandera County, on 
Blanket Creek, between Sabinal and Frio Canyons. In 1897, 
when the writer went to interview the old veteran for the pur- 
pose of getting a sketch of his life for publication in the Galves- 
ton News, he found him sitting in front of his door, with his hat 
pulled down, shading his eyes, for he is nearly blind, and he has 
to almost feel his way when stirring about. His general health, 
however, is good, and he has one of the most remarkable mem- 
ories of incidents, names, and dates. To my greeting, he called 
out, "How are you, Jack ? I know your voice, but I can not see 
you. Get down." 

Uncle Ben was born in Lincoln County, Mississippi, on the 
11th day of September, 1817. His father, A. M. Highsmith, was 
in the British war of 1812, and served as scout and ranger. Mr. 
Highsmith came to Texas with his father in 1823, and crossed 
the Sabine River on a raft the day before Christmas of the above 
date. There were four other families along, thirty-three persons 
in all, and all relatives except one. 

The Highsmiths moved on up the country after landing on 
Texas soil, and first settled on the Colorado River two miles above 
the present town of La Grange, on the west side of the river. 
This place was afterwards called Manton's Big Spring. At that 
time it was called Castleman's Spring. It was named for John 

The Indians soon gave trouble, and these outside pioneers had 
to come back to the settlement below, where lived the families 
of Zaddock Woods and Stephen Cottle. This settlement was 


finally abandoned on account of Indians, and all went to Kabb's 
Mill. The settlement here and those who came for mutual pro- 
tection now numbered six families. Bread was a very scarce ar- 
ticle, as farming at this time was on a very small scale. 

The Comanche Indians, who had up to this time been on 
friendly terms with the whites, now informed them that they 
must leave or they would come next moon and kill all of them. 
The settlers were not strong enough to disregard such a warn- 
ing as this, and consequently broke up and scattered. Most of 
them went down to Old Caney and Columbus. The Cottles 
stopped at Jesse Burnham's and the Highsmiths at Elliot C. 
Buckners. This was in 1829. 

Mr. Highsmith first visited San Antonio in 1830. On this 
occasion he went on a trading trip in company with James Bowie, 
W. B. Travis, Ben McCulloch, Winslow Turner, Sam Highsmith, 
and George Kimble. They arrived there on the first day of 
April. It was far out on the frontier, and consisted of scat- 
tered grass-covered houses, mostly. 

After returning from this trip, Mr. Highsmith moved with 
the other members of the family to Cedar Lake and stopped on 
the Harrison place, and was the only family there at that time. 

In 1832 a disturbance commenced with the Mexicans, which 
culminated in the 


The causes which brought about the collision were these : In 
1831 Bustamante had overthrown Zacatecas, who was Presi- 
dent of Mexico, and who had formulated the famous Constitu- 
tion of 1824, which guaranteed to Americans the right to gov- 
ern themselves. Bustamante told his followers that it gave the 
Americans the right to govern Mexico also, and at once sent 
troops to garrison San Antonio, La Bahia, Velasco, Anahuac, 
and Nacogdoches. General Cos was sent to' San Antonio, Fili- 
sola to La Bahia (Goliad), Ugartechea to Velasco, and Brad- 
burn to Anahuac. Santa Anna now arose against Bustamante 
and the Americans espoused his cause, thinking he was their 
friend and would uphold the Constitution of 1824. 

To show their fidelity to the cause of Santa Anna, the Ameri- 
can settlers began to raise men to attack the garrisons which had 


been placed in the Texas towns by Bustamante. Capt. Elliot 
C. Buckner raised one of the companies and proceeded with other 
captains against Velasco. Uncle Ben joined this company, 
having to run away from home to do so on account of his youth, 
being then only 15 years of age. The following are the names 
of those whom Mr. Highsmith can still remember who belonged 
to this company : Peter Powell, Joe and Horace Yeamans, Billy 
Kingston, Moses Morrison, Isaac Van Dorn, Hamilton Cook, 
Caleb E. Bostick, Tom Tone, Dan Ralls, Andrew Castleman, 
Leander Woods, and a Mexican named Hosea, who lived with 
Captain Buckner. 

"When the Americans under Buckner, about 100 in number, 
arrived at Velasco they went into the town at a full charge, and 
being supported by other troops the battle commenced with great 
fury. The Mexicans numbered about 500, and met the Ameri- 
cans with a heavy fire of musketry and artillery. In less than 
an hour the battle of Velasco was over and the Mexicans de- 
feated. While many Mexicans were killed, the Americans did 
not come unscathed out of the fight. Out of Buckner's company, 
he himself was killed, the Mexican, Hosea, Leander Woods, and 
Andrew Castleman. One man of this company ran when the 
firing commenced, but soon checked up and seemed about to 
come back, but about this time the Mexican artillery fire com- 
menced, and away he went again and returned not. When the 
boys joked him about it afterwards he said : "Boys, I will tell 
you the truth. I have got as brave a heart in me as any man that 
lives, but the most cowardly pair of legs that was ever fastened 
on to a man. Now, while my legs were carrying me off I was 
protesting and trying to persuade them to bring me back into 
the fight, and did actually get them to stop and turn me around, 
but at that critical moment the cannon fired, and away they went 
again, and I failed to get them to hold up any more within range 
of the battle/' 

About the middle of November, 1833, Ben Highsmith and his 
father were camped at Croft's prairie, eight miles below Bastrop, 
cutting logs to build a house, when the "stars fell," as that ex- 
traordinary meteoric display which occurred at that time was 



In 1835 Santa Anna, who had overthrown Bustamante, was 
now President of Mexico, and wanted to govern Texas also. He 
went about to bring this to pass by ordering General Cos, his 
brother-in-law, who was still in command at San Antonio, to 
send a company of soldiers to Gonzales and bring off a little 
cannon which the Americans had in their possession, and which 
had been furnished them by the Mexican government for de- 
fense against the Indians. The settlers at Gonzales refused to 
give up the cannon, and the soldiers went back to San Antonio 
and reported the same to their commander. Another company 
was sent with an order from Santa Anna to take it by force. 
In the meantime a runner had been sent from Gonzales to the 
settlements on the Colorado, informing them of the action of the 
Mexican government, and calling on the settlers for assistance 
to repel with force this plain violation of the Constitution of 
1824. The fact of the business was that Santa Anna had become 
alarmed at the number of Americans that were settling in Texas 
and wished to disarm and drive them out, although this immi- 
gration had been invited and extra inducements offered to get 
it, and these settlers were actual citizens of Mexico. 

The appeal from Gonzales was responded to with alacrity 
by the Colorado men, and companies were formed and moved 
with great dispatch. Mr. Highsmith left his home on the Colo- 
rado, and on arriving at Gonzales joined the company of Capt- 
John Alley, the whole being under the command of Col. John H. 
Moore. The cannon in question was a small affair, had never 
been used by the settlers against an enemy, and they had 
no balls to fit it, and did not know how it would shoot if occa- 
sion offered. However, they concluded to try it before the Mex- 
icans came. John Sowell, a gunsmith of Gonzales, hammered 
out a ball on his anvil to fit the cannon, and it was loaded at his 
shop. Col. James Neill, an experienced artillerist, was pres- 
ent, and he aimed the gun at a small sycamore tree which grew 
on the bank of the Guadalupe Eiver, about 300 yards distant 
from the shop. The tree was hit and considerably splintered, 
and part of the top fell off. When the Mexicans came they 
crossed the river above town and the settlers went up there be- 
fore day to fight them, carrying the cannon with them, which 


had been loaded with slugs at Sowells' shop. It was not yet 
daylight when they arrived in the vicinity of the Mexicans, and 
very foggy, — the strangest fog, Mr. Highsmith says, he ever 
saw. It was clear of the ground a short distance of half a foot 
or more, and by lying down one could see the legs of the Mex- 
icans, who were on the ground, and also that of the horses of 
those who were mounted, 150 yards away . Mr. Highsmith found 
this out by dropping something and stooping down to pick it 
up. He called the attention of Colonel Neill to this fact, and the 
colonel said that it beat anything in the fog line that he had ever 
witnessed. Colonel Neill had charge of the cannon, and was 
about to direct its fire on the Mexicans, when the battle very un- 
expectedly and accidentally commenced. This was brought about 
by two scouts, one from each of the opposing forces, coming in 
contact and firing at each other at close range in the fog. The 
fight was of short duration. The cannon was fired five times, 
mixed with rifle shots, and the Mexicans retreated across the 
river. The fog lifted, and shots were exchanged after they 
crossed. Dr. John T. Tinsley got a fair bead on one who had 
stopped to take a look back, and, from the way he cursed in choice 
Spanish as he continued his retreat, must have hit him. The 
gunsmith John Sowell brought his shop apron full of slugs to the 
battleground to load the cannon with. The Mexicans continued 
their retreat to San Antonio, and most of the Colorado men 
went back home. 


Captain Alley's company and a good many of the Gonzales 
men after the fight at Gonzales joined Gen. Stephen F. Austin, 
who, seeing war was inevitable now with Mexico, was raising a 
force to capture San Antonio. Mr. Highsmith remained with 
his company, and says one night the command camped. on the 
Cibolo Creek while en route to assault the city, and that two of 
the men ate so many green pecans that it killed them. This was 
in the fall of 1835. 

General Austin went into camp on the San Antonio River be- 
low the city, and then sent Colonels Fannin and Bowie up to near 
the old Mission Concepcion with ninety-two men, as an advance 
guard. They went into camp in a pecan grove in a bend of the 


river and put out guards. Next morning, about the break of day, 
as some of the men had arisen and were kindling fires, 400 Mex- 
ican morales troops attacked them. It was foggy, and the Mex- 
icans had advanced a nine-pound cannon and placed it in close 
range of the position of the Texans and commenced firing be- 
fore the guards discovered them. At the first fire of the gun, 
one of the Texans sang out, "That cannon is ours I" Fannin 
and Bowie were cool, brave men, and soon had their small force 
well in hand and to some extent protected by the bank of the 
river, where they were told to form and shoot when they liked, 
and not to wait for orders. The cannon shots had no effect, as 
the Texans were sheltered also by pecan and hackberry trees. 
The rifles soon cleared the gunners from the piece, and as the 
fog lifted they could see the Mexican infantry coming with 
trailed arms to protect it. This line was soon checked by a 
deadly rifle fire, and then a portion of the Texans made a charge 
from their position and captured the cannon. The Mexican in- 
fantry fired and then retreated, but formed again and still con- 
tinued to fire at longer range. The cannon was only fired three 
times before it was captured and brought into the Texan camp. 

When the firing commenced Dave Kent, Jesse Robinson, and 
John Henry Brown had just arrived at the Mission San Jose 
with some beef cattle, and at once hurried to the battle. 

There has been some controversy as to who was in command 
of the Texans in this fight, Bowie or Fannin. Mr. Highsmith 
says that on the morning of the fight Bowie gave the order to 
"Get your guns, boys ; here they come," when the Mexicans first 
fired on them. Only one man on the side of the Americans was 
killed. His name was Richard Andrews. He and Ben High- 
smith stood beside the same hackberry tree during the hottest of 
the fire, and Andrews exposed himself in getting a shot. His 
companion said, "Look out, Dick ; they will hit you." He fired, 
however, and stepped back to reload, and then leaned from the 
tree again to look and to shoot. Highsmith said again, "Look 
out; you will get shot." About this time a ball struck the side 
of the tree, and, glancing, went through Andrews, going in at the 
right and coming out at the left side, lacerating the bowels in 
its progress. The wounded man lived until night and died in 
great agony. So great was his pain that he would place a finger 
in each bullet hole and try to tear them larger in the vain effort 


to get relief. He was buried on the battleground, under a large 
pecan tree. During the battle the Mexican cavalry was stationed 
back east in the prairie on the La Bahia road, about half a mile 
from the battleground, with their ropes ready to lasso the Tex- 
ans when they were driven out of the timber across the open flats. 
The Mexicans had not learned yet what it was to round up a 
bunch of Texans. In the end the infantry and cavalry retreated 
back to San Antonio, with the loss of one cannon and about 
sixty men. 


After the Concepcion fight General Austin came up with the 
main body of his troops and all moved to the head of the San 
Antonio Eiver above the city and began to invest the place. Gen- 
eral Burleson had arrived with the Colorado men, and Ben 
Milam was also there. The Mexicans were in a precarious situa- 
tion. They could not leave the city, and no supplies could reach 
them. Their cavalry horses were nearly starving. One night a 
party was sent out west of town to cut grass and bring it in for 
the horses. They succeeded in loading about fifty burros with the 
prairie grass, but daylight came upon them before they could 
get back to town, and they were discovered by Colonel Bowie, who 
with part of his men were on the lookout for a reinforcement 
which was expected from Mexico to relieve the beleaguered city. 
Bowie at once attacked them, although a large force of soldiers 
was with the grass cutters. The Mexicans commenced a rapid 
retreat to town, followed by the yelling Texans, and a lively fight 
and chase took place. The grass-laden jacks kept the road, bray- 
ing at every jump, and the Mexicans fired back as they ran. One 
Texan was hit a glancing shot in the forehead and he fell from 
his horse. When the suburbs of the town was reached the Tex- 
ans turned back, as the firing was attracting a reinforcement with 
artillery. The fight commenced on the Alazan Creek, and the 
road to Castroville now crosses the battleground. A party came 
back to see about the man that fell from his horse, and he was 
found sitting on the bank of a small ravine and holding his 
forehead with both hands. One of the party, John McGufnn, 
said, "Hello, here; what are you doing? Catching your brains 
in vour hands ?" The wounded man was tenderlv cared for and 


recovered. Uncle Ben was in the fight, but does not remember 
the man's name. In writing this sketch I only give accounts of 
battles that Mr. Highsmith participated in, and only allude to 
others in a general way. 

General Somerville was present during the siege, and one day 
a sentinel named Winslow Turner made him mark time for try- 
ing to pass him without the countersign. It is more than likely 
the officer was trying the soldier to see what kind of a guard he 


On the 5th day of December, 1835, while the siege was drag- 
ging slow and the men impatient and inactive, Col. Ben Milam 
called for volunteers to storm San Antonio. General Austin, 
who was not a military man, but a statesman, and who was at 
the head of the great immigration scheme of bringing colonists 
from the States to Texas, had quit the service, and Gen. Edward 
Burleson was in command of the Texans now before San An- 
tonio. When Milam made the call for men to enter the city, 300 
responded and were led in by Milam and Col. Frank W. John- 
son. General Burleson held the reserves up at the old mill. 
Bowie also, with part of his men, was there ready to give assist- 
ance at a moment's notice. Mr. Highsmith went in with Milam, 
but was not by him when he was killed, being on the west side of 
Soledad Street, and the gallant old colonel was killed on the east 
side at the Veramendi House. After Milam was killed Colonel 
Johnson took command and continued the assault to a successful 
finish. Col. J. C. Neill made a demonstration against the Alamo 
with artillery to draw the attention of the Mexicans to the east 
side of the river, while Milam and his men were entering on the 

Mr. Highsmith noticed two men get peculiar shots near him 
while a storming party were making their way toward the plaza. 
Sam Evitts was shot in the mouth and the ball came out under 
his right ear, and James Belden had his right eye shot out. Both 
men recovered. John Harvey was killed, and Captain Ware and 
"Deaf Smith were wounded at the Veramendi House when 
Milam was killed. 

General Cos surrendered his men, and they were all paroled 
and sent back to Mexico. 



The marks of bullets are seen on the doors, which are of cedar, heavy and thick, and 

have swung there since 1720. 





After the surrender many of the Texans went back home, 
thinking the war was over. Colonel Fannin had been sent to 
La Bahia, or Goliad, before the taking of San Antonio, and was 
in command there. Col. James JSTeill was placed in command of 
the Alamo until relieved by Col. William B. Travis. Mr. High- 
smith stayed in the Alamo with Colonel Travis until the ap- 
proach of Santa Anna from Mexico with a large army, and he 
was then sent by his commander with a dispatch to Colonel Fan- 
nin ordering that officer to blow up the fort at Goliad and come 
to him with his men. Mr. Highsmith was gone five days, and on 
his return Santa Anna's advance of 600 cavalry was on the east 
side of the river, riding around the Alamo and on the lookout for 
messengers whom they knew the Texan commander was sending 
from the doomed fort. 

Mr. Highsmith sat on his horse on Powderhouse Hill and took 
in the situation. The Mexican flag was waving from the Church 
of Bexar across the river, and the flag of Travis from the Alamo. 
The country was open and nearly all prairie in the valley around 
San Antonio, and objects could be seen some distance from the 
elevated points. There was a great stir and perceptible activ- 
ity in the town, and the forms of some of the doomed men at the 
Alamo could be plainly seen as from the walls of the fort they 
watched the Mexican cavalry. 

The daring messenger saw there was no chance for him to 
communicate with his gallant commander, and slowly rode north 
towards the San Antonio and Gonzales road. The Mexican cav- 
alrymen saw him, and a dense body of them rode parallel with 
and closely watched him. Finally they spurred their horses into 
a gallop and came rapidly towards him. Highsmith took one 
last look towards the Alamo and the trapped heroes within, and 
then, turning his horse east, dashed off towards Gonzales. He is 
the last man alive to-day who talked with Bowie and Travis at 
the Alamo. The Mexicans pursued Uncle Ben six miles — two 
miles beyond the Salado Creek — and then gave up the chase. He 
went on to the Cibolo Creek, eighteen miles from San Antonio, 
and then halted on a ridge to rest his horse. While here his quick 
ear caught the sound of cannon as the dull boom was wafted 
across the prairie. The siege and bombardment of the Alamo 
had commenced. Mr. Highsmith thinks that David Crockett 
went into the Alamo with George Kimble, A. J. Kent, Abe Darst, 


Tom Jackson, Tom Mitchell, Wash Cottle, and two 16-year-old 
boys named Albert Fuqua and John Gaston. Crockett had a few 
men who came with him to Texas, and some think he did not 
come by Gonzales, but straight across from Bastrop to San An- 
tonio. The men mentioned above all came from Gonzales and 
were led by Captain Kimble. The names are not all given here. 
There were thirty two of them in all. They came down the river in 
the night and fought their way into the Alamo by a sudden dash. 

When Mr. Highsmith arrived at Gonzales he found Gen. Sam 
Houston there with about 300 men on his way to succor Travis, 
and Highsmith' s report was the last reliable news before the fall. 
Scouts were sent back to within a few miles of San Antonio to 
listen for the signal gun which Travis said he would fire at sunup 
each morning as long as held the fort. On Monday morning, 
March 7, 1836, the scouts listened in vain for the welcome signal. 
The sun arose and began to mount into the heavens, and still no 
token came ; all was silent in the west. The scouts mounted their 
horses and set off again for Gonzales to inform General Houston 
that the Alamo had fired her last gun. On the 6th the Alamo 
had been stormed and all the defenders perished. 

When Mr. Highsmith reported to General Houston the situa- 
tion at the Alamo, he sent Uncle Ben and a boy named David B. 
Kent again to Colonel Fannin, ordering him to demolish the fort 
of Goliad and retire to the east bank of the Guadalupe Eiver and 
form a junction with him. When they arrived at Goliad and 
handed the message to Fannin he read it, but said nothing. 
When asked what reply they must carry back he said, "Tell him 
that I will not desert the fort." Colonel Fannin had made an 
attempt to join Travis at the Alamo, but his frail transportation 
carts had broken down and he had to return to Goliad, having 
no means to convey his supplies or artillery. The readers of 
Texas history are familiar with the terrible scenes that were 
enacted around the fort of Goliad after the departure of these 
last messengers to Fannin. A large Mexican army came and the 
commands of Ward, King, and others were massacred. Fannin 
attempted also to leave, but was cut off and surrounded in the 
Coleta prairie, and after a hard battle against largely superior 
numbers, surrendered the remnant of his command, who were 
then massacred, only a few escaping the general slaughter. 

The young lad Kent, who was sent with Highsmith to Fannin, 


From which waved the blood-red flag of Santa Anna during the 

siege and storming of the Alamo. 


was the son of David Kent, who was killed in the Alamo. The 
writer has seen this messenger Kent, and had many talks with 
him. He died a few years ago in Frio Canyon, Uvalde County. 
Highsmith and Kent returned to Gonzales and found General 
Houston and his men still there, and made their report. Hous- 
ton was greatly distressed. There was great commotion in town. 
Mrs. Dickinson had arrived and confirmed the report that the 
Alamo had fallen and its defenders been all slain. There was 
wailing and weeping among wives and mothers. The Gonzales 
nen and boys to the number of thirty-two had perished with 
Travis. Mrs. Dickinson was the wife of Lieut. Almon Dickinson, 
who was killed in the Alamo. She had been spared and had 
made her way to Gonzales. 


The Mexican army divided at San Antonio after the Alamo 
was taken, Santa Anna coming to Gonzales, Cos by Bastrop, and 
Urrea to Goliad. It was the latter that fought Fannin. Mr. 
Highsmith went on with the army from Gonzales, and blames 
General Houston for several things. In the first place, he said 
they should have fought the Mexicans at the Colorado, as more 
men were together there than at any subsequent time, and that 
the burning of Gonzales, Columbus, San Felipe, Harrisburg, and 
New Washington by order of Houston was useless, as the Mexi- 
cans could have done no more. He said if the battle could have 
been fought at Columbus it would have saved much property. 
Be this as it may, however, all is well that ends well. The Texans 
under Houston, few as they were, gained a great and glorious 
victory when they did fight on the historic plain of San Jacinto. 

Uncle Ben went into the battle in the company of Capt. 
William Ware. He says the dead Mexicans lay thickest around 
the breastwork and were considerably scattered on the prairie. 
The breastwork, he said, was composed of brush, dirt, packs, etc. 
A great many prisoners were taken, and he says they held them 
in camp that night by stretching ropes around the trees, building 
large fires so as to keep a good light, and by keeping guards 
posted on the outside circle of ropes. During the night the 
grass caught fire and burned among some boxes of captured 
paper cartridges, and many of them exploded. When the cart- 


ridges commenced to go off the Mexican prisoners, 700 in num- 
ber, became greatly alarmed, not knowing the cause of the fusil- 
ade, and thinking the Texans had commenced to shoot the pris- 

After the battle and pursuit was over the wounded Mexicans 
who were able to travel were marched to the camp of the Texans, 
some having to travel two miles. They never groaned or com- 
plained, and a casual observer would not have known they were 
wounded except by their bloody clothes. There were about 300 
of them in all, and thirty of them died in the Texan camp that 

Mr. Highsmith says, from the amount of guns picked up on 
the field, there could not have been less than 2200 Mexicans in 
line of battle. Their line was twice the length of that of the 
Texans and more densely packed. 

There was a man named Bob Love in the battle, and during 
the first charge the men were ordered to fall forward at the flash 
of the cannon to avoid the shots; but Love had not heard this 
order, and when the men went down at the flash he turned back 
and ran to camp and told the guard detail there that all of 
Houston's men had been killed at the first fire except himself. 
He then went on towards the Sabine and told all the people that 
he saw the same tale. The date of the battle was April 21, 1836. 


In 1838 Mr. Highsmith went out with a surveying party under 
the leadership of Captain Lynch. Their course was westward, 
and they finally established their camp between Salt and Chero- 
kee creeks, where the land lay which they wanted to run off. 
This place is now covered by Lampasas County. There were 
twenty-five white men in the party, including- the hunters. Work 
progressed all right. Game was plentiful and no signs of In- 
dians. Nothing occurred worthy of note until the morning, 
when preparations were being made to break up camp and re- 
turn to the settlements, the work having been completed. At 
this time the men were surprised and thrown into momentary 
confusion by the furious onslaught of about forty Indians who 
had approached their camp through some thickets. The most of 
the white men were frontiersmen and good Indian fighters, and 


order was soon restored and the Indians driven back to cover by 
a well-directed rifle fire. The men had time to reload before 
another charge came, and the Indians were again driven off after 
circling around the position of the whites, yelling and discharg- 
ing a good many arrows, but without much effect. This kind of 
fighting was kept up for nearly an hour, when the Comanches, 
seeing it was going to cost them too much to continue it longer, 
drew off. There was but one white man killed, and that was the 
brave Captain Lynch. He was shot through the body with a bul- 
let, and died instantly, without speaking. His body was buried 
on the battleground by his comrades, and they then returned to 
the settlement without further incident. 


This is the name Mr. Highsmith gives to the disturbances 
which occurred along the Eio Grande in 1839. He says the 
Mexicans were raiding on the Americans who had commenced to 
settle on the lower Nueces between that stream and the Eio 
Grande. These Mexicans were in some force, and were led by 
one of their countrymen named Parbon. John 1ST. Seguin, a 
Mexican of Spanish descent, but loyal to Texas at that time, 
raised a company of ninety-five men to go and fight Parbon and 
his party. Sixty of this company were Americans and the bal- 
ance Mexicans. Mr. Highsmith, ever ready to go on an expedi- 
tion, joined the force under Seguin. The latter had a fine ranch 
below San Antonio on the river of the same name. On a creek 
called Santiago, between San Patricio and Laredo, they met Par- 
bon and his men, and a fight occurred in the brush and prickly 
pears. A parley was finally agreed on, and while this was in 
progress one of Parbon's men told Juan Cantu, who belonged to 
Seguin's Compaq, that the latter intended to sell his company 
out. When the men heard this they broke up and came back to 
San Antonio. Captain Seguin had some trouble with the Ameri- 
cans near his ranch, and thinking he had been wronged by them, 
turned traitor to Texas, removed to Mexico, and returned with 
the invading armies of Vasquez and Wall in 1842. 

When Vasquez made his raid Mr. Highsmith joined the com- 
pany of Capt. II. M. Childress. The Mexicans held San Antonio 
a few days and then went back to Mexico without a fieht, not 



waiting until the Texans could assemble. The latter kept their 
forces in the city a while before disbanding. While here, High- 
smith learned through Juan Cantu, who was loyal to the Texans, 
that Seguin was at the Calaveras ranch, thirty miles down the 
river, and applied to Captain Childress for twenty-five men to go 
and capture him. This was granted, and Captain Highsmith 
set out for the Calaveras ranch, guided by Juan Cantu. 

The party arrived at the ranch in the night and surrounded it. 
The owner, Calaveras, was called out and asked if Seguin was 
there. He said "No." "You lie," said Cantu, and proposed then 
and there to hang him. A rope was produced, put around his 
neck, and he was drawn up, but was told he would be let down 
when he told where Seguin was. Calaveras, however, persisted in 
his first statement that Seguin was not there, and that he did not 
know where he was. He was drawn up three times, but finally 
released and left nearly dead. No doubt Seguin had been there, 
but was gone. Highsmith and his men went back to San An- 
tonio and disbanded. 

It is a pity that Captain Seguin should have had any trouble 
with the Texans. He commanded a small company of Mexicans 
at San Jacinto, fighting against Santa Anna, and it was he and 
his men who collected the bones of the men who were killed and 
partly burned at the Alamo. They buried these remains about 
seventy-five yards from the northeast corner of the Alamo. 


In 1839 an attempt to remove the Cherokee Indians from East 
Texas to the Indian Territory, which had been set aside as the 
home of the Indian tribes, caused a short conflict, in which the 
Indians were defeated and the intentions of the government car- 
ried out. Two chiefs, Bowles and Big Mush, commanded the 
Indians, and the whites were led by Gen. Thomas J. Eusk. The 
battle was fought near Nacogdoches in a thick woods of pine, 
white oak, gum, etc. Both Indian chiefs were killed, and among 
the whites killed was Capt. John C. Crane, one of the captains 
under Milam at the storming of San Antonio in 1835, and who 
was well known to Mr. Highsmith, who was near him when he 
fell and helped to bury him. Uncle Ben in this fight belonged to 
Capt. Ed. Burleson's company. 



In 1839 Gen. Vincent Cordova, a disaffected Mexican living at 
Nacogdoches, raised a motley crowd of Mexicans, Indians, and 
negroes and started to Mexico. Gen. Ed. Burleson got wind of 
him on the Colorado, and went with a company of rangers to 
intercept him. Ben Highsmith and Winslow Turner were mem- 
bers of the company. The trail of Cordova was struck between 
Webber's Prairie and Austin, and the band overtaken on Mill 
Creek, in Guadalupe County, about five miles east of the little 
village of Seguin, then just starting. It was a running fight and 
did not last long, as it was nearly sundown when it commenced. 
It could not be ascertained how many of the enemy were killed, 
as they fell as they ran and were badly scattered. The father of 
the writer lived at Seguin at the time, and was on the battle- 
ground next morning. He said there were two negroes, one 
Mexican, and one Indian dead on the ground where the fight first 
commenced. Cordova intended to capture and pillage Seguin. 
The dead Indian had his head cut off. Mr. Highsmith says that 
Dr. Venters, who was with the rangers, had a personal combat 
with an Indian and killed him. I have heard my father say that 
a doctor who was in this fight cut off the head of a dead Indian 
and carried it away with him for medical examination. Likely 
this was the one. 


In 1839 the Comanche Indians in large force made a raid on 
the settlement below Austin, and after killing some of the Cole- 
man family and robbing the house of Dr. Eobinson in his ab- 
sence, traveled a northerly course towards Brushy Creek, carry- 
ing one of the doctor's negroes with them. Mr. Highsmith was 
at Bastrop, and when he heard the news, of the raid set out for 
Austin in company with his old comrade of many battles, Win- 
slow Turner. When they arrived at Austin Capt. James Eogers 
was raising men to pursue the Indians, and the two Bastrop men 
joined him. Gen. Ed. Burleson, the Indian fighter and leader 
on the Colorado, was away at the time. Captain Eogers with 
thirty men left Austin in pursuit and came up with the Indians 
twenty miles northeast from Austin, on Brushy Creek, not far 


from the present town of Taylor. The Indians saw the white 
men coming across the prairie and made ready to fight them. 
The Indians charged when Rogers and his men came near, and 
after firing the captain saw that his force was not sufficient to 
cope with them, especially in open ground, and ordered a retreat 
to a mott of timber on a hill. Here his intention was to dismount 
his men and make a fight. As soon as the men started the In- 
dians followed with fearful yells, and by the time the timber was 
reached considerable confusion prevailed among the white men. 
Only three men dismounted in obedience to orders, and the bal- 
ance passed on. Captain Eogers, seeing he could not carry out 
his plans, also passed on. The three men who had dismounted 
at the trees were Ben Highsmith, Winslow Turner, and Jacob 
Burleson. The Indians were crowding the settlers closely and 
firing at them, and the dismounted men, seeing the stand was 
not going to be made, hastily remounted and followed. Their 
order as they left the trees was Turner in front, Burleson next, 
and Highsmith last. About this time the Indians, who were 
close upon them, fired a volley with rifles. Highsmith felt the 
wind of a ball close to his ear, and at the same time saw the dust 
rise from the crown of Burleson's hat, who was directly in front 
of him. The next instant the gallant young man reeled and fell 
from his saddle, shot in the back of the head. The men were not 
to blame for making this retreat, as they were greatly outnum- 
bered, and many more would have been slain had they stayed. 
Some were young men who had never seen Indians before. 

The Indians did not pursue far, and the men all got together 
and went back towards Austin. Captain Rogers was greatly de- 
jected. Before getting back, however, they met Gen. Ed. Burle- 
son coming rapidly with twenty men. He was informed of the 
disastrous fight, and that his brother Jacob was killed. General 
Burleson now took command of all the men and went back to 
give the Indians another fight. He, like Jack Hays, had never 
been defeated by Indians. They first went to the spot where 
Jake Burleson fell, and there found his body, stripped and badly 
mutilated. He was shot through the head, as Highsmith had 
told them, and his right hand and right foot cut off, scalped, and 
his heart cut out. The Indians went back to Brushy Creek and 
there strongly posted themselves. The creek here made an acute 


bend, and the Indians were in the lower part of it and concealed 
from view except when some of them showed themselves in order 
to watch the movements of the white men. 

General Burleson moved his men around the position of the 
Comanches and occupied the upper bend of the creek, and the 
tight soon commenced across the space between them, which was 
in short rifle range. The battle lasted a long time and was hotly 
contested — rifle against rifle. The Indians seemed to be nearly 
all armed with guns and were good shots, and still outnumbered 
the white men. The latter, some of whom were old Indian 
fighters, were cautious, exposing themselves as little as possible. 
The Indians did the same. They evidently recognized Burleson 
as their old enemy, and they dared not leave cover and charge 
his position. One Indian crawled out of the bed of the creek 
unperceived and took a position behind a large bunch of prickly 
pears, where he lay flat on the ground and watched his oppor- 
tunity to shoot as some settler would expose some part of his 
body. He did execution, and it was some time before he was 
located, but the smoke of his gun finally betrayed him. Winslow 
Turner saw where the smoke came from, and quickly ascending 
a small tree at great risk of his life, got sight of the Indian, 
fired quickly, and came down again. The Comanche jumped at 
the crack of the gun and tumbled over the creek bank. This 
Indian had on Dr. Eobinson's coat and vest, as was noticed when 
he jumped away from his position. The coat and vest were 
found when the fight was over, covered with blood and a bullet 
hole in them. The Indians, after losing many of their warriors, 
gave up the fight and retreated down the creek and then into the 
hills. They carried off their dead, but the bloody ground they 
occupied told the tale of their loss. 

After the battle was over the loss of Burleson in killed was 
Jack Walters, Ed. Blakey, and James Gilleland. The latter was 
a Methodist preacher. Of the four men killed three were shot in 
the head. Gilleland was shot between the point of the shoulder 
and neck, the ball ranging down and going through the lungs. 
Mr. Highsmith helped to carry Blakey to the house of ]SToah 
Smithwick, at Webber's Prairie, twenty miles distant from the 
battleground. Smithwick was brother-in-law of the wounded 
man. They carried the dying youth on a blanket stretched be- 
tween two poles, between a pair of horses. He was shot late in 


the evening, and died, at sundown on the next evening. The 
other dead were carried off to their respective homes by friends. 
Heartrending scenes were enacted when the bloody remains were 
slowly brought to their homes by sorrowing comrades. Walters 
was a young man and his mother was a widow. 


In 1840 a large body of Comanche Indians, about 500 in num- 
ber, made a most daring raid through Texas and burned and 
sacked the town of Linnville on the coast. When the news of this 
raid was generally circulated men began to gather from all points 
where there was a settlement to intercept and fight them on their 
way back to the mountains from whence they came. Mr. High- 
smith heard the news at his home in Bastrop, and at once saddled 
his horse, got his gun, and started. Among the leaders who were 
gathering men to fight the Indians were Felix Huston, Ed. 
Burleson, Jack Hays, Matthew Caldwell ("Old Paint"), and the 
McCullochs, Henry and Ben. 

Mr. Highsmith joined the company of General Burleson. The 
Indians came up Peach Creek and then across Tinny' s Prairie 
towards Plum Creek. Scouts kept Burleson informed as to the 
route of the Indians, and he cut across with his men to intercept 
and fight them at Plum Creek, but when he arrived there the 
Comanches had crossed the creek and were out in the prairie. 
They had many pack animals, besides squaws and warriors, and 
presented an imposing spectacle as they moved along singing and 
exploiting on their horses, and altogether covering a mile in ex- 
tent. Burleson moved out towards them and charged, commenc- 
ing the fight with eighty-two men. The warriors divided and 
moved towards Burleson, firing and yelling, which was spiritedly 
replied to by the men from the Colorado. About this time a re- 
inforcement arrived of 125 men under Gen. Felix Huston, who 
were following on the trail from below. The fight now became 
general and quite extended, as the Indians began to quail before 
the fire and to move off, following in the wake of the squaws and 
pack animals. Other reinforcements in small squads continued 
to arrive, attracted by the firing to the course the battle was fol- 
lowing. The pursuit lasted many miles, and wound up where 
the present town of Kyle is situated, between San Marcos and 


Austin. It commenced three miles east of the present town of 
Loekhart, in Caldwell County. 

Many personal encounters took place during the long-extended 
and scattered battle. One Indian in the chase has his horse 
killed, and after leaving him and running a short distance on 
foot, returned to the dead horse to secure his bridle, but was 
killed and fell across the horse's neck with the bridle in his hand. 
Another Indian presented a very humorous and grotesque ap- 
pearance. When the stores at Linnville were looted this fellow 
proceeded to rig himself from head to foot in regular full dress 
fashion, except the pants, having on a beegum hat, fine calf boots 
on over his naked legs, and a broadcloth long forked-tail coat, 
which was resplendent with a double row of brass buttons in 
front. This dusky dude, however, had no valet de chambre to 
put on his coat for him, and consequently got it on wrong, hav- 
ing the front behind and closely buttoned up to the back of his 
neck. He also had an umbrella hoisted, and was riding with 
head erect and a little thrown back, singing loudly, when the bat- 
tle commenced. The sight of him and the humorous figure he 
cut caused loud laughter among the Texans who were near him. 
He lost his hat and umbrella during the fight, but himself es- 
caped, although fired at repeatedly. He was a dexterous rider 
and dodger. Mr. Highsmith saw a white woman lying under a 
tree with an arrow in her breast, Some men had dismounted 
beside her, and a doctor from Gonzales was extracting the arrow. 
One of the men was well known to Mr. Highsmith. He was Z. 
N". Morrell, the noted pioneer Baptist preacher. The wounded 
woman was a captive, and the Indians shot her when they com- 
menced to run from the Avhites. 

The horse which was killed when the Indian also lost his life 
trying to save his bridle belonged to Colonel Bell, who was killed 
off of him at Kitchen's ranch as the Indians were coming back 
from Linnville. Several men shot at this Indian when he was 
killed, among whom were Mr. Highsmith and Andrew Sowell. 
The latter's ball hit the shield. 

During the charge across the hogwallow prairie many horses 
fell and threw their riders. Bones of Indians were found years 
after along the route of pursuit. 



Soon after the Plum Creek battle President Houston commis- 
sioned the famous Jack Hays to raise a company of Texas 
rangers for the protection of the frontier against Indians and 
lawless characters. The latter were thick around San Antonio, 
and did pretty much as they pleased. Jack Hays at the time was 
a young surveyor, and not much known. He distinguished him- 
self at the battle of Plum Creek. General Houston, who had 
been elected President of the young Republic of Texas, recog- 
nized his ability, and seeing the necessity of having such a man 
with a company of like spirits around him, at once put him in 
the field, and well did he sustain the trust and confidence which 
the hero of San Jacinto placed in him. Under Hays the Texas 
rangers gained a name and reputation which was world-wide. 

Mr. Highsmith joined the company of Hays, and they were 
stationed at San Antonio. They soon established law and ordei 
in the Alamo City, and the name of Hays and his rangers soon 
become a terror to evildoers. The red man of the plains felt the 
weight of his mailed hand and learned to dread an encountei 
with him. In four pitched battles they were utterly routed, 
namely, Nueces Canyon, Pinta Trail Crossing, Enchanted Rock, 
and Bandera Pass. No account of these battles will be given in 
this sketch except those Mr. Highsmith was engaged in. The 
main scouting ground of the rangers was in the mountains west 
and northwest of San Antonio, up the Guadalupe, Medina, Sab- 
inal, Frio, and Nueces rivers. 

In the spring of 1841 Captain Hays started on a scout with 
forty men. His camp at this time was seven miles west of San 
Antonio, on Leon Creek. They went a northwest direction up 
Medina River and camped for the night at a point about where 
the center of Bandera town now is. Guards were well posted, 
and the night passed without any disturbance. Some people 
would be surprised to know that the Texas rangers under Hays 
were many of them men of education and refinement. Around 
the campfire at night it was not uncommon to hear men quot- 
ing from the most popular poets and authors, and talking 
learnedly on ancient and modern history. It is true they looked 
rough in the garb they wore. The wide hat was to protect them 
from the sun in long scouts across the prairies. The leggings of 


buckskin or cowskin protected the legs from the thorny brush and 
cactus. The large clinking spurs put new life into a tardy pony 
if occasion demanded. The intention of Hays was to turn north 
from this place and go out through the famous Bandera Pass and 
into the Guadalupe valley, and then scout up the river to the 
divide. The pass was about ten miles from the night camp of 
the rangers. 

After the rangers left camp and were riding over the open 
country towards the pass, which could be seen plainly, quite a 
different looking crowd were assembling there. A large band of 
Comanche Indians were also on the warpath, and had started 
across the country by way of the pass to the Medina valley. They 
arrived there first, and, seeing the rangers coming, laid in am- 
bush and awaited there to fight them. 

The pass was named for General Bandera of the Spanish 
army, who was stationed at San Antonio when the missions were 
first built there. All of this country and Mexico then belonged 
to Spain. The pass was the home of the Apache Indians, and 
they raided upon San Antonio. General Bandera was ordered to 
follow them to their stronghold and chastise them. He found 
them at home in the pass and strongly fortified among the rocks. 
A long and desperate battle took place and many were killed on 
both sides, but at last the Spanish arms prevailed and the In- 
dians gave way and retreated through the hills further towards 
the west. They never came back, but settled in New Mexico. 
Now, after the lapse of a century or more, another bloody battle 
was about to be fought here. 

Hays and his men arrived at the pass about 11 o'clock in the 
morning and began to ride through it, as yet having seen no sign 
of Indians. The pass was 500 yards in length by 125 in width, 
and from 50 to 75 feet high on both sides, very steep, and covered 
with rocks and bushes. The Indian chief dismounted his men 
and placed them among the rocks and bushes on both sides of 
the pass, leaving their horses in the rear, and also concealed in a 
deep gulch which cut into the pass from the west and well up 
towards the north end. 

The first intimation the rangers had of the presence of Indians 
was being fired on by bullets and arrows on all sides, and the 
terrible warwhoop of the Comanche resounded through the gorge. 
For a few moments there was some confusion among the rangers 


on account of the plunging of frightened and wounded horses, 
who would turn and try to run back through the pass in spite 
almost of all their riders could do. This was a trying and most 
critical time and the Indians knew it. They charged down into 
the pass and almost mixed up with the rangers and plunging 
horses. The white men could not well use their guns and hold 
their horses, too. To add to the disadvantage and confusion, 
some of the rangers were killed and wounded and were falling 
from their horses. As soon as a horse would find himself free of 
his rider he would gallop madly back through the pass. 

All this took place in less time than it takes to write, and it 
was the first time Jack Hays was ever caught in a trap ; but he 
was equal to the occasion. His clear voice now rang out sharp 
and quick, "Steady there, boys; dismount and tie those horses; 
we can whip them; no doubt about that.'' Order was soon re- 
stored, and in a moment the rangers were on the ground, and 
the Indians were falling and giving back before a deadly rifle and 
pistol fire. They came again, however, and several hand to hand 
conflicts took place. Mr. Highsmith, who was in the fight, dis- 
mounted near a ranger named Sam Luckey, who was soon shot 
through by a bullet. It entered under the left shoulder blade 
and came out below the right nipple. Highsmith caught him 
when he commenced falling and let him down to the ground easy. 
At this time the rangers had fastened their horses near the south 
entrance of the pass and were fighting in front of them. The 
wounded Luckey called for water, and Highsmith gave him some 
out of a canteen. At this time the fight was raging and the pass 
was full of Indians, rangers, and horses. The Comanche chief 
during this close fight attacked Sergt. Kit Ackland and wounded 
him. Ackland also shot the chief with a pistol, and then they 
clinched and both went down. Both were large, powerful men, 
and the combat was terrific. Both had out their long knives and 
rolled over and over on the ground, each trying to avoid the 
thrust of the other and himself give the deadly wound. The 
ranger was finally the victor. He got up covered with blood and 
dirt, with the bloody knife in hand. The chief lay dead, literally 
cut to pieces. 

Mr. Highsmith loaded and fired his rifle many times, and was 
finally wounded in the leg with an arrow. The wound did not 
disable him, but after getting the arrow out he continued to load 


and lire until the fight was over, which lasted an hour. The In- 
dians finally gave way, retreated to the upper end of the pass, 
and left the rangers masters of the situation. It was a dear 
bought victory. Five rangers lay dead and as many more 
wounded. Many horses were also wounded and killed. Of the 
wounded were Highsmith, Ackland, Tom Galbreath, James 
Dunn ("Red"), Sam Luckey, and one other whose name is not 
now remembered. While the fight was going on some of the In- 
dians were carrying their dead back to where their horses were, 
at the north end of the pass. Hays carried his dead and wounded 
men back to the south entrance of the pass, where there was a 
large water hole, and there spent the night burying the dead 
rangers and taking care of the wounded. The writer was not 
able to get the names of those killed except one, whose name was 
Jackson. It has been fifty-six years since the battle was fought, 
and Mr. Highsmith can not now remember the others. At the 
time of the fight he had not been in the company long, and the 
names of those killed were not as familiar to him as the sur- 
vivors became in after years. 

From the pass Hays carried his wounded men to San Antonio, 
where they could get good medical attention. 

Jack Hays never had a better crowd of fighting men than was 
with him in the Bandera Pass fight. Some of them are as fol- 
lows : Sam Walker, Ad. Gillispie, P. H. Bell, Ben McCulloch, 
Kit Ackland, Sam Luckey, James Dunn, Tom Galbreath, George 
Neill, Mike Chevallier. Some of these became noted men in 
after years, but were then all young Texas rangers. Sam Walker 
was a lieutenant-colonel in the Mexican war of 1846, and was 
killed at the battle of Humantla. Gillispie commanded a com- 
pany also, and was killed at the storming of Monterey. Ben Mc- 
Culloch commanded a company, and was also a Confederate 
general in the civil war, and was killed at the battle of Elkhorn. 
George Neill was the son of Col. James ISTeill, who commanded 
the artillery at the storming of San Antonio. Chevalier was a 
captain in the Mexican war, as was also Ackland. Sam Luckey 
was a famous humorist, singer, and story-teller around the camp- 
fires. P. H. Bell was afterwards Governor of Texas. Ben High- 
smith participated in eighteen battles, and was the last man to 
carry a dispatch from Travis at the Alamo. All of them made 
records as good fighters. 


The buried their chief at the upper end of the 
pass, and the spot can still be pointed out by some rocks that are 
over the grave. 


In 1842 Mr. Highsmith was still a member of Jack Hays' 
ranging company, and stationed at San Antonio. In September 
of the above year Gen. Adrian Wall came from Mexico with about 
1200 men and captured San Antonio. The rangers were out on 
a scout at the time, and failed to discover the approach of the 
Mexicans. Some of them came in, not being aware of the 
changed conditions, put up their horses, and were captured after 
some slight resistance. The balance of the rangers had gone 
down the Medina Eiver with Captain Hays, and when they came 
back discovered there were Mexican soldiers in town, and made 
their escape, although hotly pursued by a large body of cavalry. 
Mr. Highsmith was with this party with Hays. The rangers went 
into camp on the Salado, and Captain Hays sent runners to Se- 
guin and Gonzales and other points informing the people of the 
situation and calling for help. Lieut. H. E. McCulloch was very 
active in spreading the news and raising men. Spies from the 
ranger camp kept -watch on the Mexicans around San Antonio. 
The people east, as was their wont in time of danger, responded 
with alacrity, and soon Gen. Matthew Caldwell took the field 
with a force and established his camp on the Salado, seven miles 
northeast from San Antonio. Captain Hays was then sent with 
part of his rangers to draw the Mexicans out to Caldwell's posi- 
tion. They advanced to within half a mile of the Alamo, and 
cut up many antics on their horses in a bantering way to get the 
Mexican cavalry to pursue them. In this they succeeded, for 
soon 400 cavalry came out and charged them. A lively chase now 
commenced back to the position of Caldwell. Mr. Highsmith 
was not in this chase, but remembers the following names of 
those who were : H. E. McCulloch, Kit Ackland, Stuart Foley, 
Creed Taylor,. Andrew Sowell, Big Foot Wallace, Ad Gillispie, 
Sam Walker, Sam Luckey, and a man named Jett. who was 
killed in the battle which followed on the creek.* The Mexican 
army soon came out and a severe battle was fought, in which 
Wall was defeated. Caldwell's force has been variously esti- 


mated. The writer once heard Gen. Henry McCulloch say that 
there were 201. 

Before the fight commenced, and while the Mexicans were pre- 
paring to charge, the Baptist preacher, Z. N. Morrell, asked per- 
mission of Caldwell to make the men a short talk. The request 
was granted, and the general added, "I wish you would; it will 
do the boys good/' 

The preacher was listened to with profound respect, and he 
wound up the address with these words : "And now, boys, my 
impression before God is that we will win the fight." The men 
cheered their appreciation. The Mexicans made some desperate 
charges, but shot wild. Sometimes they would come within 
fifteen yards of the Texans, yelling like Indians. General Cor- 
dova, who had the fight with Burleson's rangers on Mill Creek 
in 1839, was killed in this fight by Wilson Eandle of Seguin. 
John N". Seguin was also here in command of a company fighting 
the Texans. Capt. Nicholas Dawson, from Fayette County, tried 
to get to Caldwell's position with fifty-two men, but was cut to 
pieces and himself and thirty-two of his men were killed and the 
balance captured, except two — Gon. Woods and Aulcy Miller. 
Woods fought his way through the Mexicans and got to Cald- 
well; Miller went the other way to Seguin. Wall, being de- 
feated by Caldwell, went back to San Antonio, but did not tarry 
there long, and set out for Mexico. He was followed by the 
Texans and overtaken, and a skirmish took place called 


The Mexican army in their retreat from San Antonio traveled 
towards the foot of the mountains and crossed the Medina Kiver 
two miles above the present town of Castroville, and then traveled 
up between two ravines to a high ridge near the Hondo Eiver. 
The advance of the Texans was led by Jack Hays and his rangers, 
who crowded close on the rear of the retreating Mexicans. 
The Texans were badly scattered, coming on in companies under 
their respective leaders. This want of order and a thorough 
understanding in regard to commanders and plan of battle 
caused the pursuit to be a failure. Captain Hays and his men 
came upon the Mexicans at the ridge where they had halted to 
give battle, and he halted his men to await the arrival of the re- 


mainder of the American forces, but they came in disordered 
squads, and the Mexican commander, seeing that he was not go- 
ing to be immediately attacked, moved on across the Hondo and 
made another stand there. One battery was placed in position on 
the east side of the creek with twenty men with it, supported by 
inf antr}f, and the main army formed in the flats on the west side 
with a cannon in position to bear upon any approach to the one 
on the east. 

Captain Hays had sent a runner back to inform General Cald- 
well of the fact when the Mexicans made the first halt on the 
ridge. When the general came up he told Hays to follow on with 
his men, and when he came upon them again to charge and bring 
on the battle, and he would support him with the rest of the 
men. In the meantime Hays had sent Ben Highsmith, Sam 
Luckey, Tom G-albreath, and some others to follow close after 
Wall's army so that he could get accurate information as to the 
disposition of their forces in case a stand was made to fight. 
When the scouts arrived at a point a short distance above where 
the little village of New Fountain is now, in Medina County, 
they halted, for they were close upon the rear of the Mexicans. 
There was a great commotion among the latter, and they made 
a great deal of noise, — a perfect babel of voices, carts rattling 
across the rocky bed of the Hondo, officers giving commands, 
teamsters and artillerymen shouting and cursing, mules braying, 
and the occasional yelling of a lot of Cherokee Indians who were 
with the Mexicans. While the rangers were sitting here on their 
horses listening to all this they were startled by a rifle shot, and 
Sam Luckey reeled in his saddle and would have fallen to the 
ground had not Ben Highsmith caught him. The shot came 
from a dry branch of the Verde Creek, and the spot was located 
by the smoke of the rifle of the hidden marksman. Some of the 
rangers charged in that direction, but only the glimpse of a flee- 
ing Cherokee Indian who did the work could be seen. These In- 
dians were good shots and armed with rifles. They did more dam- 
age to the Texans at Salado and at Dawson's massacre than the 

Luckey was hit under the right shoulder blade, and the ball 
came out just below the left nipple, barely missing the heart. 
This shot was just the reverse to the one he received the year be- 
fore at the Bandera Pass, and bv a strange coincidence Ben 


Highsmith was near him on both occasions and caught him be- 
fore falling, laid him down, and each time gave him water. 
Captain Hays and quite a lot of his men now came up, and he 
told the men that he was going to attack the rear guard of the 
enemy, and that the troops in the rear would support them. One 
man was left with the wounded Luckey, and the balance ad- 
vanced to the attack. Hays soon found out the position of the 
enemy and told his men to charge and capture the battery on the 
east side of the creek, and then turn it upon the Mexicans be- 

Quite a large force of Texans were now close by, and Hays 
though it was all right to make the charge. The men, about fifty 
in number, who now collected around their gallant captain to 
make this desperate charge were men who had been beside him 
in many bloody conflicts, and he knew they could be depended 
upon. One inducement that nerved the men to make this daring 
attack was the fact that in the Mexican lines on the other side 
of the creek, held as prisoners, were twelve of Dawson's men who 
had been captured at the massacre, many of the citizens of San 
Antonio, including members of the district court which was in 
session when the town was taken, and a few of Hays 7 rangers — 
their own comrades. When all was ready Hays led the way and 
the charge commenced. The rangers fired as they went and 
were soon among the cannons, which raked them with grape 
shot as they came up. The work was short and quick at the 
guns. The men who worked them either ran or were killed. 
Some sought refuge under the pieces to avoid the fearful rush 
of the mounted rangers, and Mr. Highsmith says he saw Kit 
Ackland lean from his saddle with pistol in hand and shoot some 
of them between the spokes of the cannon wheels. Although the 
rangers had driven in this force and captured the guns, they 
could not hold them. They were exposed to a severe fire of 
musketry and also a cannon from the other side of the creek. In 
vain the rangers looked for help from the rear and listened for 
the answering shout to their wild yells as they were spurring 
their horses among the cannon and artillerymen. This help did 
not come, and after holding their position a short time they were 
forced to retreat. Mr. Highsmith rode his horse under a mes- 
quite tree and stopped after the Mexicans had been killed and 
driven from the cannon. While here a solid shot from the can- 


11011 beyond the Hondo struck the top of the tree and cut it off. 
The fragments fell upon him and his horse, which badly fright- 
ened the latter, and he wheeled and ran off with the limbs hang- 
ing all over him. 

The rangers wounded in the charge were Arch. Gibson, 
"Dutch" Perry, John Castleman, Anderson Herrell, and William 
Gr. Cook. Herrell's horse was badly wounded, and Nick Wrens 
horse was killed under him in forty yards of the cannon. A 
grape shot hit him in the breast and went lengthwise through 
him. Captain Hays' horse was also wounded. Big Foot Wal- 
lace was in the charge on a mule. 

While all this was going on there were more than 200 men a 
few hundred yards in the rear, idle spectators. It seems at the 
very last moment there was a misunderstanding as to who would 
lead the charge as commander of the whole force. The Baptist 
preacher, Z. N. Morrell, had a son who was a prisoner, having 
been captured with Dawson's men. He learned also in San An- 
tonio that he was wounded. This man of Cod was in the des- 
perate charge, hoping to rescue his son, and when the rangers 
returned to the main body bitterly reproached the latter for 
not coming to their assistance. What was the feelings of the 
Texas prisoners when they saw the assault fail ? No doubt some 
of the captured rangers recognized their comrades and captain 
when the cannon was taken by such a bold dash, and felt sure 
of their liberation. 

No further attempt was made on the Mexican position, and 
some time during the night the Mexican commander continued 
his retreat. A council of the Texan officers was held and the 
pursuit abandoned. The volunteer companies scattered back to 
their various homes, and the rangers went back to their quarters 
at San Antonio. The failure to defeat General Wall on the 
Hondo caused the prisoners in his hands to spend three years 
in the dungeons of Mexico before they were released. 

Mr. Highsmith was in the Somervell expedition in 1843, but 
came back with Captain Hays when the expedition was aban- 
doned, and missed the chance of drawing a bean for his life, as 
others did who selected commanders and went on to the invasion 
of Mexico after the expedition was declared off. A full account 
of this expedition will be given in the sketch of Big Foot Wallace, 
who was with it. 



When the war broke out between Mexico and the United 
States, in 1846, Jack Hays raised a regiment of Texas rangers 
and joined General Taylor's army. Some of the old rangers 
who had been with Hays so long on the frontier raised companies 
for his regiment and many others went as privates. Among 
those who raised companies were Ad Gillispie, Kit Ackland, Ben 
McCulloch, Mike Chevalier, and some others. Sam Walker was 
lieutenant-colonel. Mr. Highsmith joined the company of Gil- 

The cause of this war was the boundary line of Texas. When 
Texas applied for admission into the Union of States she claimed 
the Eio Grande River as her boundary line in the southwest. 
Mexico asserted that the Nueces River was the line, and would 
fight for that boundary. War was declared, and both countries 
began to raise armies and to march towards the disputed terri- 
tory. The consequence was that the two armies came into col- 
lision on May 8th at a place called Palo Alto, on the east side 
of the Rio Grande. While the battle was not of long duration, 
there were so many cannons fired, coupled with that of the small 
arms, that a great deal of smoke was produced, and Mr. High- 
smith says that in some charges that were made the Mexicans 
and Americans became badly mixed and separated from their 
commands. There was no breeze stirring, and the smoke lay 
close to the ground like a fog. 

The Mexicans retreated from Palo Alto towards the Rio 
Grande, but halted next day at Resaca de la Palma and again 
gave General Taylor battle. During this battle Mr. Highsmith 
was helping to support a battery led by Captain May, and his 
horse was killed. In order to keep from being run over by the 
dragoon he stepped aside into a chaparal thicket. A Mexican offi- 
cer saw him go in there and came to get him. The latter, however, 
did not know what it was to go into a thicket after an old Texas 
Tanger. Highsmith killed him and got his horse, and rode the 
captured steed back into the battle. He kept this horse all dur- 
ing the war and rode him back to Texas. 

The Mexican army being defeated here, retreated into Mexico 
and the Americans followed. Matamoros was taken without much 
fighting, and the next battle Mr. Highsmith was in was 



This was a hard-fought battle, and many American soldiers 
were killed. Here Mr. Highsmith lost his captain, the brave and 
gallant Gillespie. He did not see him killed. 

During the battle Capt. Ben McCulloch got into a very close 
place and was about to be cut off by some Mexican lancers. A 
ranger named Boseman Kent went to his assistance, but with 
an empty gun. The lancer who was crowding McCulloch the 
closest turned and ran when Kent aimed his gun at him, and 
then the ranger pursued him. All at once horse and Mexican 
went out of sight and Kent saw a deep gulley in front of him, 
but could not check up in time to avoid it. He pulled on his 
horse, gave him the spur, and leaped it. As he went over he saw 
the gay lancer and his horse at the bottom. 

The next and last battle Uncle Ben participated in was 


This battle was fought the 23d of February, 1847. General 
Taylor had 5000 men, opposed by Santa Anna with 20,000. The 
battle commenced early in the morning and lasted all day. The 
rangers and many other volunteers from the States made some 
most desperate charges. In one of these, about the middle of 
the forenoon, Uncle Ben was hit by a large musket ball in the 
leg. He had a large silk handkerchief around his neck, and 
with this he bound up his leg and went on after the command. 
It soon became so painful, however, he was obliged to stop. 
When the doctor dressed the wound he pulled the handkerchief 
through it four times in order to cleanse it of clotted blood. 
When the war was over Uncle Ben came back to Texas and joined 
a company of rangers commanded by Capt. J. S. Sutton. They 
scouted out towards the Eio Grande, but had no fights. 

He made Bastrop his home from 1833 to 1882, when he came 
west and settled in Sabinal Canyon, near the place where he 
once killed a buffalo while on a scout with Jack Hays in 1842. 
He draws a pension as a Mexican war veteran and for two 
wounds. He has many relatives about Bastrop who are promi- 
nent men in legal and official circles. Uncle Ben has a whetrock 
in his possession which he has owned ever since 1830, and carried 


it in his shot pouch in all the battles he was engaged in. It was 
given to him by Jacob C. Trask, at Matagorda. It is about three 
inches in length by one and a half in width, and is much smaller 
than when he first came in possession of it. On one side is a deep 
groove, made there by sharpening his awl in the days when he 
made moccasins and buckskin clothes. The following old-timers 
have sharpened their knives on it around the campfires and else- 
where : Sam Houston, James Bowie, Thos. J. Eusk, W. B. 
Travis, Ben Milam, Jack Hays, Ben McCulloch, P. H. Bell, 
Stephen F. Austin, James W. Fannin, Deaf Smith, M. B. La- 
mar, Ed. Burleson, and Asa, John, and Andrew Sowell, three 
of McCulloch and Hays rangers. 

Uncle Ben saw the first paper published in Texas, the Tele- 
graph, issued at Columbia by Gail and Thomas Borden. 



Came to Texas in 1835. 

The writer, while on a trip in Frio Canyon in 1898, had the 
pleasure of spending a few hours with the old veteran Capt, 
John F. Tom, one of the few survivors of the famous battle of 
San Jacinto. Captain Tom has a beautiful home in the Frio 
valley a few miles above the town of Leakey, where he is spend- 
ing the evening of life in quiet and peace,- surrounded by a pleas- 
ant family and genial neighbors. He was born in Maury County, 
Middle Tennessee, in 1818. His father, William Tom, was a 
soldier under Gen. Andrew Jackson in the war with the Indians, 
and was present at the famous battle of Horseshoe Bend. His 
uncle John Files on his mother s side was a soldier under Jack- 
son in the British war of 1812, and was killed at the battle of 
New Orleans on the 8th of January, 1815. His great-grand- 
father was killed by the tories in South Carolina during the revo- 
lutionary war of 1776. 

Captain Tom came to Texas with his father in 1835, landing 
at the mouth of the Brazos in February. Quite a lot of people 
•came to Texas in those days who were refugees from justice and 
bore bad characters generally. Mr. William Tom brought with 
him the following recommendations of good character and citi- 
zenship, which were shown the writer and allowed to be copied : 

"State of Tennessee, Maury County, November 15, 1834. — 
Whereas William Tom, a citizen of the State of Tennessee and 
county of Maury, is about to remove from here to the province of 
- Texas with his famity, consisting of the following members : 
His wife Ivissiah, his oldest son John, second Charles, third Al- 
fred, fourth James, fifth a daughter named Sarah, these being 
children of his first wife, Mary Files; Hughes, Caroline, and 
William, children of his second and present wife, Kissiah. 

"And whereas, we whose names are assigned below, being citi- 
zens of the State and county aforementioned, and being neigh- 
bors and acquaintances of said William Tom, and some of us 
knowing him as a citizen of said State and county for the most 
part of twenty years, do hereby certify said William Tom is an 


orderly citizen of honest character and industrious habits, and 
that the above respecting his family and all herein mentioned 
is correct. 

"Samuel Whiteside, B. Erwin, 

"Eli Asken, John Kingston, 

"James Lusk, James Lessoms, 

"James Cathey, Henry Higgins, 

"John Prewitt, Archibald Brown, 

"Thomas Kindrick, William Brown, 

"W. J. Young, William Gounett, 

"Samuel Lusk, Gideon Strickland, 

"James Lusk, Wm. C. Malone, 

"Samuel Johnes, ' , Jonathan Talle, 

"S. C. Aydetalatt, S. Whiteside, 

"Eobert L. Brown, Isaac 0. Whiteside, 

"Dudley A. Lobeston, Milton Whiteside, 

"Pen Gill, John Eddring, 

"Eobertson Whitehead, George W. Sessums, 

"Michael Higgin, Jourdan Thompson, 

"Joseph Tom, John Neilser, 

"Francis Bell, Daniel Neilser." 

Following this is a certificate of County Clerk Thomas J. Por- 
ter and Justice of the Peace Alexander Cathey, of good char- 
acter, etc. Also the following from the Governor of the State, 
showing that these certificates were by proper authority: 

"State of Tennessee, Executive Department. — I, William Car- 
roll, Governor in and over the said State, do hereby certify that 
Thomas J. Porter, whose signature is annexed to the foregoing 
certificate, is now and was on the day of the date thereof the 
clerk of the court of pleas and quarter sessions for the county 
of Maury, in the said State, and that his official acts as such are 
entitled to full faith and credit, and that said certificate is in due 
form of law. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my 
hand and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed, at Nash- 
ville, the 22d day of December, 1834. By the Governor, 

"William Carroll. 

"Samuel G. Smith, Secretary." 

This is rather a unique document, and I do not suppose there 
is another of the same character in the State of Texas. It is 



carefully preserved and highly prized by the Tom family, as it 
should be. 

In the summer of 1835 the Tom family were living in Wash- 
ington County, where they settled after leaving the mouth of the 
Brazos. In the fall of the same year the Mexicans came to Gon- 
zales, on the Guadalupe River, which place had been settled by 
Green DeWitt's colony, and demanded a small cannon which 
had been furnished to the settlers by the Mexican government 
for their defense against Indian attacks. The Texans refused 
to give up the cannon, and a fight ensued in which the Mexicans 
were defeated, and they went back to San Antonio, from which 
place they came, without accomplishing their mission. 

Gen. Stephen F. Austin, who was called the "Father of 
Texas," 7 then raised a small army and proceeded to San Antonio, 
where General Cos was in command of the Mexican forces. Will- 
iam Tom and his son John, the subject of this sketch, joined 
Austin's command and went out to San Antonio to fight Cos 
and his army. They participated in the battles of Mission Con- 
cepcion and the "Grass fight," and then father and son joined 
the artillery under Colonel Neill, who was an old comrade of the 
elder Tom in the Creek war under General Jackson. 

Some ditching was done and cannon planted within 600 yards 
of the Alamo and fire opened upon it, but the pieces were too 
light and no impression was made upon it. When the Mexicans 
opened fire on their position the Texans lay low and avoided 
their shots, and when night came they retired to the old mill at 
the head of the river. This demonstration against the fort of 
the Alamo was to draw the attention of the Mexicans from Col. 
Ben Milam, who was entering the city with about 300 men west 
of the river. After some terrible fighting the city was taken and 
Cos and his men surrendered. Before this was accomplished, 
however, the brave Milam lost his life, with many others who fol- 
lowed him. 

After the capture of the city William Tom and his son went 
back home, and in March, 1836, John joined the army of Gen. 
Sam Houston on the Colorado. 

On the release of General Cos and his men they went back to 
Mexico, and President Santa Anna, who was a brother-in-law 
to Cos, at once invaded Texas with a large army and recaptured 
San Antonio and stormed the Alamo, which was garrisoned by 

SAN JACINTO. From a Photo. 


less than 200 men under Col. William B. Travis, all of whom 
perished, fighting to the last. 

Colonel Fannin met a like fate at Goliad, and none now were 
left of the defenders of Texas except the small army that had 
assembled under General Houston. 

Young Tom joined the company commanded by Capt. W. W. 
Hill. However, when the battle of San Jacinto came off, the 
captain was sick, and the men were led into the fight by Bob 

When the final day for battle came the Texans were impatient. 
They had retreated constantly before the dictator of Mexico, and 
had now made a stand between Buffalo Bayou and the San Ja- 
cinto Eiver. John Tom at this time was only 17 years of age, 
boyish in appearance, and wore a pair of girl's stockings and 
buckskin moccasins. 

Santa Anna crossed the bayou and encamped with the men 
under his immediate command, about 1500, and that night was 
joined by the treacherous Cos with 500 more. He had violated 
the parole granted him after the surrender at San Antonio, and 
returned with the invading army under the Mexican president. 
To oppose this force Houston had 732 men. 

The Texan commander seemed to be in no hurry to bring on 
the battle, although both armies were in close proximity. He 
sat quietly and calmly in his tent until 4 o'clock in the evening 
of the 21st of April. In the meantime, however, he had sent 
Deaf Smith, his trusty scout, with one companion to cut down 
the bridge' across Vince's Bayou, which was the only outlet of 
escape for a defeated army. When the general thought ample 
time had elapsed for this to be accomplished, he ordered the 
twenty-two captains who commanded the companies present to 
come before him. There was a great stir now in the patriot 
camp when the men saw their captains assemble and the horse 
of their general saddled in front of his tent. He came out with 
his sword buckled around him, and in a few words told the cap- 
tains to parade their men in line. When the order was communi- 
cated to the respective companies the men obeyed with alacrity, 
and soon formed in one rank and quite extended out into the 
prairie. General Houston rode down the line and gave his or- 
ders, telling the men that he was going to attack the enemy, and 
for them to move slowly and orderly at first, and not to crowd 


or pass the two small cannons which were in the center, and 
which were to be loaded and fired as they advanced when they 
came within range of the enemy. One of these guns was com- 
manded by Ben McCulloch, afterwards Confederate general in 
the civil war, and who was killed at the battle of Elkhorn. As 
the men stood in line grasping their guns, with eager, expectant 
faces, listening to their commander, they presented a strange 
and motley group in individual contrast. Beside the gray- 
haired veteran of other wars stood the beardless youth, with wide 
open eyes, throbbing heart, and quick, short breath, anticipating 
his first battle. Shoulder to shoulder with the better dressed 
men from the towns in the east stood the buckskin-clad hunter 
from the west; the merchant had left his counter and stood by 
the farmer in line with gun in hand; the doctor had left his 
office and drugs behind, and was handling a long rifle instead of 
his pill boxes, with shotpouch and powderhorn over his shoulder ; 
the lawyer had quit his briefs and clients, and was parading in 
line gun in hand and pistol in belt, with his. patent leather boots 
touching the moccasined foot of the plainsman. All were there 
with but one object in view — love of liberty. The cowards, tories, 
and scallawags had long since deserted Houston's ranks, and the 
men who now stood in line with their faces to the foe were the 
true patriots and heroes. When the advance was ordered the 
men started with a firm step in good order. When they came 
in view of the Mexicans they noticed them in great confusion, 
and their cannon soon began to play on the advancing line of 
Texans. The "Twin Sisters" replied, and soon things began to 
get lively. The men commenced to double-quick and yell, and 
soon passed the cannons. They were left behind on the prairie, 
one of them loaded. The Mexicans sent a plunging fire of 
musketry at the yelling Texans as they came sweeping towards 
them, and men began to get hit and fall out of line. General 
Houston shouted his orders for no man to stop to assist a fallen 
friend or comrade, but to press on straight ahead and not to 
fire until they could see the Mexicans' eyes, and to penetrate the 
Mexican line and engage them hand to hand. The men went 
at a full running charge, with trailed arms and yelling loudly. 
Their comrades dropped out here and there stricken by the mus- 
ket balls that were dropping among them like hail. John F. 
Tom, the boy with the moccasins, was in all this wild charge, but 


was finally hit and knocked out of line. The men were true to 
the orders they had received and pressed on. Some of his neigh- 
bors only gave him a quick glance as he went down with his left 
leg badly shattered by a musket ball. The hand-to-hand fight, 
pursuit, and great slaughter of the Mexicans has already been 
written many times and needs no repetition here. Mr. Tom lay 
on the field until the battle was over, but two of his friends — 
Milt Swisher and Louis Clemens — remembered where he fell, 
and coming back to the spot bore him away to the camp. The 
young soldier suffered great pain for many days and was carried 
home as soon as possible, where kind and affectionate hands 
dressed his wound and nursed him until the limb was cured. 
Mr. Tom still limps from that shot. 

In 1846 Captain Tom moved to Guadalupe County, before 
it was organized, and in 1856 was elected sheriff of the county, 
which office he held four years, that being the limit in that day 
and time. In 1862 he moved to Atascosa County, which was 
then just being settled and which was on the frontier. The In- 
dians were very hostile and made many raids through this 
county, and in 1863 Mr. Tom received a commission to raise a 
company of rangers for frontier protection. While acting in 
this capacity the Indians made a raid and killed some people, 
besides carrying off a lot of stock. Captain Tom pursued them 
with his rangers and came upon the hostiles at the head of San 
Miguel Creek, and a fight ensued. Both parties attempted to 
get to a pile of rocks for their protection during the battle, and 
the Indians beat the rangers to the coveted spot. In the fight 
that followed the Comanches were defeated with loss. Of the 
men in the fight the old captain could only remember Calvin S. 
Turner, Lot Miller, and a boy named McCombs. After the fight 
the rangers followed the Indians to the Frio waterhole on the 
divide, but could not again bring them to battle, and the pursuit 
was abandoned. 

In 1873 Captain Tom was sent to the Legislature from Atas- 
cosa County and made a true and faithful representative for his 
people. He moved to Frio Canyon several years ago, and in 1893 
had the ' misfortune to get a leg broken in attempting to dis- 
mount from his horse. This, coupled with the old Mexican 
wound, compels him to use crutches. Captain Tom was made 
a Mason in 1867, Pleasanton lodge No. 383. 



Came to Texas in 1834. 

Once in a great while and badly scattered, the writer, while 
in pursuit of Texas history, comes upon a San Jacinto veteran. 
One of these, Capt. James W. Winters, lives near the Big Foot 
postoffice, in Frio County. 

Mr. Winters was born in Giles County, Tennessee, on the 21st 
of January, 1817, near the town of Pelasca. His father, James 
Winters, was born in North Carolina, and came to Tennessee 
at an early day. He was married to Miss Rhoda Beal, daughter 
of Benjamin Beal, during the war with the Creek Indians. The 
marriage took place in a fort while the people were gathered 
there to make a defense against the Indians. 

Before the war was over he joined General Jackson's army 
and took part in the battle of Talladega. While with the army 
Mr. Winters made the acquaintance of Sam Houston, and after- 
wards met him in Texas, and they recognized each other. 

During the revolutionary war the house of the Winters fam- 
ily was robbed by the tories in North Carolina. The grand- 
mother of the subject of this sketch had a sugar bowl full of 
silver money, and when she saw the tories coming carried the 
bowl to a trunk, but instead of putting it inside slipped it un- 
derneath. The trunk was one of the old colonial kind, heavy 
and on rollers, and standing several inches from the floor on 
short legs. When the tories came into the house they took every- 
thing out of the trunk and carried it away, but failed to find the 
money. They took the feather beds into the yard, and, empty- 
ing the feathers, carried away the cloth, like our western Indians 
here in Texas. The elder Winters moved from Giles County, 
Tennessee, and settled on the Forked Deer River, and then from 
there to Shelby County, near Memphis. From this place the 
family came to Texas in 1834. A family named Bankhead came 
with them. James W. Winters had six brothers, — William C, 
Orin L., John F. W., Benjamin Franklin, Elisha Willis, and 


Billington Taylor. James W. was the fourth son, coming be- 
tween John and Benjamin. All of these came to Texas at the 
same time except Orin, who was engaged to be married when 
the family left the old States, and did not arrive in Texas until 

The Winters family first settled in Texas at a place called Big 
Thicket, twelve miles below where Huntsville now stands. At 
that time all was a wilderness. When counties were first or- 
ganized the place where they settled came within the limits of 
Montgomery County, and they lived on a little creek now called 
Winters Bayou. When James W. was about grown he left home 
and worked at the blacksmith trade at the new town of Mont- 
gomery, which was about twenty miles from home. He set in 
to learn the trade with Thomas Adams, but the latter on one oc- 
casion went off to buy tools and failed to return. Trouble with 
the Mexicans commenced in 1835, and young Winters left Mont- 
gomery and set out for San Antonio in company with his father 
and brother John to join the army of Gen. Stephen F. Austin, 
who was investing the place with a small and hastily gathered 
army. On arriving at San Felipe they learned that the Mexi- 
cans had surrendered. Here also they met Gen. Sam Houston, 
and he and the elder Winters recognized each other, and they 
talked about the battle of Talladega. The general also told 
him at parting to go back home and raise all the corn he could, 
for "next spring," said he, "we are going to have it out with 
the Mexicans, sure. 7 ' James W. went back to Montgomery and 
stayed there until the spring of 1836, but when the news came of 
the fall of the Alamo he again started to meet the Mexican in- 
vaders. On again arriving at San Felipe and learning the par- 
ticulars of the fierce fight at the Alamo as given by Mrs. Dick- 
inson, who was present during the assault, and that Santa Anna 
was overrunning the country, a small company was at once 
formed on the Bernard and Capt. William Ware was elected to 
command. The elder Winters stayed at home during this time, 
but two more sons, William C. and John F. W., were present. 
The first lieutenant of the company was Job Collard, George 
Lamb second, with Albert Gallatin first sergeant and William C. 
Winters second. The company went on to the Colorado and there 
waited a few days, and by this time 200 men had collected there. 
General Houston was coming on from the west with the main 


army, and struck the river at Mercer's farm below Columbus,, 
which then consisted of but a few houses. Ware's company with 
the others were at Dewees' ford, above Columbus, and remained 
there to prevent the Mexicans from crossing if they came that 
way. They did come to the opposite side of the river and shots 
were exchanged with them. Not being able to hold the ford, the 
Texans retreated and went on to the Brazos and stayed there 
several days in a bottom at a place called "Groce's Retreat." 

Here they formed a junction with the main army under Gen- 
eral Houston when he arrived. While here news came that the 
Mexicans were on the river below San Felipe, but Houston waited 
several days for some cannon to arrive which he expected. They 
finally came — two brass six-pounders ("Twin Sisters") — and 
the army moved on to Dunman's, where Hempstead is now. Only 
one night was spent here. Next morning they went to the head 
of a prairie which runs down to Houston; stayed one night in 
the prairie, and the next, on the 18th, opposite Harrisburg, 
which had been burned. 

Deaf Smith the day before while out on a scout had captured 
a Mexican mail rider, and General Houston found out where 
Santa Anna was. On the 19th he went down Buffalo Bayou 
three miles and crossed, and then went down to Lynch's ferry 
at the mouth of the bayou where it empties into the San Jacinto 
Eiver. Vince's bridge was crossed on the way down. It spanned 
a small bayou on the west side of Buffalo. The Mexicans went 
from Harrisburg to Few Washington, on the bay, and then came 
up into the prairie and went into camp on the San Jacinto. 
Houston's men were now ahead of the Mexicans, having moved 
back up the bayou to a skirt of timber and there went into camp. 
Scouts came in and reported the Mexicans in camp three-quar- 
ters of a mile away, south. On the 20th the Mexicans made an 
attack on the camp of the Texans at long range from a mott of 
timber bordering a marsh 200 yards away. The Texans replied, 
but little damage was done. Two or three Texans were wounded, 
one of whom was Col. J. C. Neill, severely. 

Another portion of the Mexican army was in a low depression 
of the prairie where cannon were planted and breastworks made. 
General Houston went to all the messes of his men, encouraging 
them and telling them that if they gained this battle all of them 
would be captains. After the battle, and while Santa Anna was 


a prisoner in the camp he expressed his surprise at the quick 
annihilation of his army by an inferior force. "Nothing curious 
about that," said the Texan general, "my whole command were 

Next day, the 21st, General Houston late in the evening moved 
his men out and made an attack on the Mexican camp. The Win- 
ters brothers were in the second regiment, commanded by Colonel 
Sherman, and on the extreme left of the formation in the charge, 
and which brought them in contact with the Mexican right, 
which was posted in the timber and high grass. Colonel Sher- 
man bore to the left to rout these. They were lying down and 
commenced firing on the Texans in that position as they came 
towards them at a double-quick charge. Mr. Winters says he 
heard the order to fire three times before he saw anything to 
shoot at, and all the men ran up close to the enemy before firing. 
They could see the smoke from the Mexican guns coming out of 
the grass near the ground in the edge of the timber, but none 
of them moved until they arose to run. 

In the meantime, however, the bullets from the Mexicans were 
striking among the Texans and several had already gone down, 
among whom was Lieutenant Lamb and Sergeant Winters. 
James W. did not see his brother William fall, and kept on in 
the charge. When the Texans came within fifty or sixty yards 
of the Mexicans they sprang up quickly and ran away, and 
seemed to be very numerous. The Texans now opened up a 
rapid fire with terrible effect. The ground was almost covered 
with dead and disabled Mexicans. Those not hit went in rapid 
flight through the timber towards the breastworks, followed by 
the Texans, who by this time were yelling loudly. The fight was 
hard at the cannon, and the bullets flew among and over the 
Texans as thick as hail. Mr. Winters had a long flintlock rifle, 
and stopped beside a Spanish oak tree to ram a tight ball, and 
while so doing a large ball struck the side of the tree and threw 
so much bark in his face and with such force that for a few mo- 
ments he thought he was wounded from the pain it created. At 
this time the right wing of the Texans had reached the works 
and a terrible hand-to-hand fight was taking place with clubbed 
rifles, bayonets, and sabers. Mexicans and Texans were one 
writhing, surging mass. This, however, did not last long, as the 
Mexicans soon ran, some in one direction and some in another. 


Part of them went to Vince's bridge, hoping to escape across 
that; but "Deaf" Smith had destroyed it that morning, and they 
huddled there like a bunch of cattle, and many were killed. 
Some of them tried to keep in the timber along the marsh and 
escape towards the bay shore. Nearly all of them, however, were 
overtaken and killed or captured. Many ran into the marsh to 
escape the Texans, and forty of them were taken out of there the 
next day. Mr. Winters loaded and fired his rifle eight times 
during the battle and pursuit. He was with those who cut off the 
Mexicans towards the bay shore, and it was nearly night when 
he returned to the main battleground. He became separated 
from his brothers during the fight, but saw John just as the pur- 
suit ended, and asked him if he knew anything of William. He 
said no he had not seen him since the fight commenced. The 
two brothers now hastily went to camp, but hearing no tidings 
there, hurriedly returned to the bloody field and began a diligent 
search there until darkness put an end to all further work in 
that place. Once more they returned to camp, greatly distressed. 
They knew William too well to entertain the thought for an 
instant that he had shirked the battle, and grave fears were now 
entertained that he had been slain in some out-of-the-way place 
during the pursuit, fallen perhaps in high, marshy grass, and 
his body would never be recovered. On arriving at camp this 
time, however, they found the missing brother, who had just 
been brought into camp badly wounded. He was hit in the 
charge before reaching the timber and fell out of line without 
being seen by either of the other brothers. When the ball struck 
him he had his foot clear of the ground and leg bent, charging, 
and the missile, which was a large musket ball, struck just above 
the knee and ranged back, coming out at the large part of the 
thigh on the under side. In its course the ball grazed the thigh 
bone and so paralyzed the limb that Sergeant Winters was un- 
able to arise from the ground after he fell, and had to lie there 
until dark before being carried away. 

Captain Ware's company was small — only eighteen — but they 
were under a close fire and suffered more than some of the larger 
companies. The casualties were as follows: Second Lieut. 
George A. Lamb, killed; Sergt. William Winters, severely 
wounded; Sergt. Albert Gallatin, slightly wounded; Private E. 
G. Rector, slightly wounded; Private G. W. Robinson, severely 


wounded. The ball which hit Albert Gallatin first struck his 
powderhorn, cut through the shotpouch, and entered the side, 
carrying the strap of the shotpouch into the wound. 

Mr. Winters says that Captain Ware was like a wild mustang, 
and when the charge was ordered leaped to his place in front 
and shouted, "Come on, boys \" Mr. Winters remained seven 
days on the battleground attending to his wounded brother, and 
at times going over the battleground. He said the Mexicans had 
made their breastworks out of brush and packs of camp equipage. 
The Mexicans lay thick in many places, and none of them were 
buried. The Texans had to move their camp on account of the 
stench emanating from the dead bodies which lay thickly south of 
of them. In a few days the Mexicans presented a fearful sight, 
swelling to enormous sizes. No buzzard or wolf came about them. 
From the battlefield the army w.ent up to Harrisburg, and here 
Mr. Winters left them and went home. The wounded brother 
was carried home by John from the battleground. The elder 
Winters died in the Big Thicket on the first place settled by 
him in Texas. He had a good farm there. 

In 1837 the Indians made a raid in that country and killed 
a Mrs. Taylor, whose husband also had been killed by Indians a 
month before that time. Mrs. Taylor, at the time she met her 
death, was at the house of a neighbor named Hadley. The attack 
was made in the night, and Mrs. Taylor tried to leave the house 
with her children, three in number — two boys and a girl. The 
Indians found them out in their flight, and killed the mother 
and little girl and shot one of the boys in the hand with an arrow. 
This occurred near where the town of Anderson now is. Mrs. 
Taylor was delivered of another child in her dying struggle after 
being shot. A man named Kindred went to Montgomery to 
give the alarm and made a most remarkable ride. It was thirty- 
five miles to the town, and he started from Hadley's after day- 
light, rode there, raised twenty-five men, and was back at Had- 
ley' s on the following night. Mr. Winters was one of the twenty- 
five men who went from Montgomery. After an organization 
took place Jerry Washam was chosen captain, and the pursuit of 
the Indians commenced. They had taken a westerly course out 
of the country. The command crossed the Navasota Eiver and 
went up between that stream and the Brazos, passing within 
three miles of Fort Parker. Twenty-five miles beyond the fort, 


at a horseshoe-shaped prairie belted by timber, the Indians scat- 
tered and the trail was hard to keep. Finally buzzards were seen 
in a point of timber where the prairie circled aronnd it, and the 
men cautiously went in. The Indians had seen the white men and 
hastily left, leaving bows, shields, arrows, etc. While making a 
close examination of the camp Mrs. Taylor's scalp was found. 
There was also a large amount of cooked meat in camp. The 
Indians were all on foot and not more than ten in number. They 
were trailed across the prairie on the other side of the timber, 
and here they again scattered and it was impossible to follow 
them, so the pursuers commenced their return. There was one 
timid man along, named Hardwick. One night he and Winters 
were on guard at the same time but in different places. Hard- 
wick fired at something (or nothing) and raised an alarm. 
Winters saw the fire from Hardwick' s gun, but not knowing what 
the matter was, remained at his post and awaited developments. 
Hardwick when he fired ran into camp with all the balance of the 
guards, ten in number, except Winters. The roll of the guards 
was called and all answered except Winters. A man by the name 
of Tullis said he would bet that Hardwick had killed Winters. 
The frightened guard had said that he did not know what he 
shot at. He was then asked what the thing was doing when he 
fired — walking upright or crawling. "Both," he says; "kinder 
pokin." At this they all laughed, and some of them went to hunt 
for Winters, whom they soon found all right. 

Not long after this Indian chase Mr. Winters married Miss 
Pearcy Tullis, near Montgomery. Her father and brother were 
both in the Indian pursuit above mentioned. 

In 1842, when General Wall captured San Antonio, Mr. Win- 
ters with others went to aid in defeating him. When they ar- 
rived at San Antonio their force amounted to 200 men, but the 
battle had been fought and the Mexicans gone back to Mexico. 
Mi*. Winters, however, stayed out and went on with the Somer- 
vell expedition. His captain was Albert Gallatin, who was 
wounded at San Jacinto. Winters came back when the com- 
mand had the split on the Eio Grande, and missed drawing a 
bean for his life, — a chance which befell those who went over into 

In 1850 he came out further west and settled on the San Mar- 
cos Eiver, three miles above Prairie Lea, and helped his brother 


William to build a mill. He stayed here two years, when he 
went into the mercantile business and got broke up. He moved 
further west then, and went into the stock business on shares 
with Berry Crane and others, and settled on the Nueces, near 
Oakville, in Liveoak County. Here he had to contend with In- 
dians, Mexicans, and white cow-thieves. One party of six In- 
dians made a raid and, getting into a fight with cowmen, were 
all killed. 

When the civil war broke out Mr. Winters raised a company 
of ninety men and offered them to the Confederacy. They were 
accepted, but Mr. Winters did not go with it as captain, but 
was kept back as an enrolling officer, and was also commissioned 
as provost marshal. Guards were kept between the Nueces and 
Rio Grande as mounted rangers. Mr. Winters went with them 
part of the time. He remained on the border during the war 
with the rank of captain. On one occasion horse-thieves made a 
raid and were followed by Captain Winters with two men. They 
rode sixty miles in one day and caught the thieves, who were 
Mexicans, at sundown, charged them, killed one, and rescued 
eight head of horses and brought them back. 

After the war he went to Tuxpan, Mexico, and lived there 
eight years, farming, etc. He came back to Bee County, Texas, 
stayed there two years, and then came to Frio County, where he 
still resides, eight miles southeast from Devine. 

Mr. Winters had three sons in the Confederate army, — James, 
Josephus, and Francis Marion. James, the eldest, was captured 
at Arkansas Post, and was in Bragg' s army after the exchange. 
Marion died in San Antonio before leaving Texas. Josephus 
was in the Fort Donelson fight, and also helped to capture the 
Harriet Lane at Galveston. 

The old veteran, now in his eighty-second year, lives with his 
son William on an adjoining farm to his own. His first wife 
died in Mexico, and the second died in 1895. 



Came to Texas in 1828. 

One of the most interesting characters now in Texas is Mrs. 
Hannah Berry, who lives in the Upper Sabinal country, in Ban- 
dera County. Mrs. Berry was born in Catahoula Parish, Louis- 
iana, on the 2d day of November, 1812, and is the daughter of 
Jesse Devoe. Her father and a company of men were in hearing 
of the battle of New Orleans, and made all haste to get there to 
take part in the engagement, but were too late. They were 
greatly stimulated in their exertions to reach the battleground 
by the constant roar of cannon, which was heard for many miles. 

Mrs. Berry moved to Mississippi when quite a small child, 
and started to Texas from "Jackson's new purchase/' 150 miles 
above Vicksburg, in 1826. The family made several stops on 
the route, and arrived in Texas and settled in Liberty County 
in 1828. In 1831 she married John Berry, of Kentucky, who 
came to Texas in 1826. Mr. Berry was a gunsmith by trade, 
and his services in the new country were almost indispensable. 
He received a league of land from the Mexican government as 
one of Robinson's colonists. 

In 1834 the family moved to Bastrop, and Mr. Berry made 
knives, guns, and pistols, and mended all the broken ones in the 
country. In 1836, when Col. David Crockett of Tennessee came 
to Bastrop on his way to join Col. William B. Travis at the 
Alamo, in San Antonio, he had with him a very fine gun, but it 
had been broken off at the breech, and he was very anxious to 
have it mended before reaching San Antonio. Some one said 
to Colonel Crockett when the broken gun was mentioned, "Take 
it to John Berry ; he can fix it for you." Crockett came to Berry's 
shop in company with John McOee and brought the gun with 
him. Mr. Berry examined it, and saying he could fix it all right, 
at once set about the work. A large silver band was placed 
around the broken place, and so securely fastened that it was as 
strong as ever and very ornamental when polished and flowered 
off. Colonel Crockett was well pleased, and said it was now bet- 
ter than it was at first. The gun was lost in the Alamo when 


Crockett was killed in the famous battle. Mention has been 
made several times of Crockett's beautiful silver mounted rifle 
which was taken by the Mexican army to Mexico when the war 
was over. The silver part of it was the band over the broken 
place put there by John Berry. Mrs. Berry says she would know 
the gun now if she could see it by the silver band she watched her 
husband put there. She remembers well how Colonel Crockett 
looked, and says he did not wear a cap while at Bastrop. 

Mrs. Berry heard many an Indian yell during the "bloody 
days of Bastrop/' and once saw 500 Comanche Indians at one 
sight. She saw Wilbarger after he was scalped by the Indians, 
and says he lived ten years after. When the Alamo was taken a 
messenger came and told the people to retreat back out of danger 
until the settlers who were rallying under Gen. Sam Houston 
could meet the victorious Mexicans in battle. The people of Bas- 
trop left the town and traveled by various methods and to differ- 
ent places. Mr. Berry's family and a few others went to Fort 
Parker. Gen. Edward Burleson was in the Texan army, and his 
stepmother and her five children and one of the Burleson chil- 
dren went in Mr. Berry's wagon. Also of the party were the Har- 
ris and McKinney families. Dr. McKinney it was said was the 
cause of the Indians being so hostile in those days and killing so 
many Bastrop settlers. In some transaction with the Indians he 
made a present to them of a keg of sugar which he had poisoned, 
and which caused the death of a great many of them. The In- 
dians in revenge for this killed Dr. McKinney and some com- 
panions at a place afterwards called Bone Hollow. The bones of 
the men had been found and buried there, hence the name. Mrs. 
Berry says she saw the rail pen which had been placed around 
them. During the stay of the fugitive families at Fort Parker 
Col. Benjamin Parker, who was in command of the fort and who 
was also a Baptist preacher, held services regularly and preached 
to the people. These were long, anxious days to those in the fort, 
especially to those who had sons and husbands in Houston's army. 
Mr. Berry did not go to the army, as he was getting old; but 
three of his sons by his first wife had gone to strike a blow for 

The families stayed three weeks at the fort. Mrs. Berry knew 
the famous Cynthia Ann Parker well, who was then a very small 
girl. Mrs. Plummer was also there, who suffered so much as a 


captive among the Comanche Indians afterwards. There was 
also a strange boy at this fort named Bobert Foster, whom the 
people who lived there called "the prophet.'' It was said that 
he told many things which had come to pass. Every morning 
while awaiting news from, the seat of war some one would ask 
this boy what news he could tell them, but for a long time he 
would say that he had nothing to tell. One morning, however, he 
arose early and told the people that they could go home if they 
wished, as the men of General Houston had killed nearly all of 
the Mexican army, and that a beardless boy had captured Santa 
Anna. The same evening two men came in sight running their 
horses and firing pistols. Mr. Berry answered with several shots 
from the fort, and in a few minutes the men came up. They were 
messengers from San Jacinto, bringing news of the victory. 
There was great rejoicing, and those who did not live at the fort 
soon made preparations to go home. When the Berrys arrived 
at Bastrop they found their house burned and all of their stock 
driven off by the Mexicans. Three of the Berry boys were in 
the army, to wit, John Bates, Andrew Jackson, and Joseph. The 
two first took part in the battle, but Joseph arrived too late. 
Cornelius Devoe, brother of Mrs. Berry, was also in the battle. 
He was from Liberty County, and had not seen the Berry boys 
"for a long time. They recognized each other during the heat of 
the combat, but having no time to talk or shake hands, shouted 
their greetings amid booming cannons and rattling musketry. 

The boy Foster at Fort Parker, three days before the fearful 
massacre at that place, arose early one morning and told all the 
people to leave the fort if they did not want to get killed, as the 
Indians were coming and would take the place. They did not 
do so, and Mrs. Berry says she supposes the boy was killed with 
the balance, as she never heard of him afterwards. 

In 1840, when the Comanches made the famous raid through 
Texas and burned the town of Linnville on the coast, the Berrys 
were living in Burleson County. When they heard the news, 
John Bates Berry and his brother Andrew Jackson mounted 
their horses and took a prominent part in the battle of Plum 
Creek, where the Indians were badly defeated. This battle was 
fought about three miles east of the present town of Lockhart, 
in Caldwell County. 

In 1842 Bates and Joe Berry joined the Somervell expedition 


and were with the party who crossed over into Mexico and fought 
the battle of Mier. Just before the battle Joe had the misfortune 
of falling into a ditch and breaking his leg while acting as a 
scout to ascertain something of the enemy. His brother Bates 
and some others carried him into an old outhouse in the town, 
and while there the battle commenced. The Mexicans were try- 
ing to storm Cameron's position where he had barricaded the 
streets and houses, and were in rifle shot of the old house in 
which Joe and his three companions were. It was agreed that 
they would not let themselves be known until the battle was 
over, as they would be at the mercy of the Mexicans. One of the 
men, however, in the excitement during a charge on the position 
of the Texans, aimed his rifle through an opening and fired. Joe 
now told them to all run and save themselves if they could and 
leave him alone to his fate, as the house would now be attacked 
and all killed. The men acted on this advice of the brave, un- 
selfish boy, and, opening the door, made a desperate run for 
Cameron's position. They were met by a volley from the Mex- 
icans, who were advancing with a small force under the com- 
mand of a lieutenant to assault the house. One of the men fell 
dead in his tracks, but John Berry and the other man fought 
their way through the Mexicans and gained the position of the 

In making the run and fight through the Mexicans, John Berry 
recognized the lieutenant in command as a man whom he knew 
in San Antonio. The fate of poor Joe was sealed. The Mexican 
officer went into the room where he lay helpless and killed him 
with his sword. He then came out flourishing the bloody weapon 
and bragging about the deed. He was afterwards killed in Texas 
by the Berry boys. John Berry was captured with the balance 
of the Texans when the surrender took place, and was in the 
desperate chance of drawing a bean for his life at Salado. He 
drew a white one, but one of his neighbors named Porter drew a 
black one, and bewailed his fate in such a forcible way that Berry, 
rendered almost desperate by the death of his brother and the 
terrible scenes through which he had passed, thought of swap- 
ping beans with him and being shot in his place. After the fight 
he had passed many long, weary hours in prison. Then came the 
fight at Salado, where, unarmed, they rushed upon the guards, 
wrenched the weapons from their hands, and fought their way 



to liberty. Then came days of famine and thirst, lost in the 
mountains, trying to make their way to Texas. The recapture,, 
brntal treatment, and being marched from town to town, exhib- 
ited like so many wild beasts, and at last to stand up and draw 
beans for the little miserable life that was left in them. No 
wonder he thought of taking his comrade's black bean and ending 
it all. The thought of home, however, and the old mother watch- 
ing and waiting for her boys, one of whom was already gone, 
decided him., and he stood by and saw his neighbor shot. After 
twenty-two months of hard labor on the streets of the towns in 
Mexico, he was released and made his way back home. A man 
named Whitfield Clark made his escape and informed the Berry 
family of Joe's death before John got back. 

Mrs. Berry's husband drew a pension for services in the war 
of 1812, and when he died it was transferred to her, which she 
still receives — one of the very few left who draws a pension of 
that character. Mr. Berry served also against the Indians under 
General Harrison, and fought at the battles of Tippecanoe and 
the Thames. He volunteered from Kentucky and served in the 
company commanded by Capt. William Smithers, Hopkins' regi- 
ment. Mrs. Berry was the mother of twelve children, as fol- 
lows : Mary, the eldest, married John Compton ; Emanuel, mar- 
ried Delilah Cox ; John, married Hixa Jane Donnell ; Jane, mar- 
ried Lieut. James Ramsey, now of Corn Hill, in Williamson 
County; Julia and Catherine, twins; the first named married 
Robins ; the second Jackson. Joseph, a Confederate soldier, who 
died at the age of 18 years at Bayou Boeuff, La. ; Silas, married 
Sarah Hutchinson; Clarissa, married Henson Mitchell; Patrick 
Henry and Virginia, twins; the former died young, and Vir- 
ginia married George Murphy ; the last George Washington, mak- 
ing the twelve. The Joseph mentioned above was her own son, 
and the one killed at Mier in Mexico was her stepson, and on ac- 
count of their great love and attachment for him this one was 
named Joseph also. Two of her sons, Emanuel and John, went 
through the civil war and helped to capture the Harriet Lane at 
Galveston. Emanuel limps now from injuries received in cross- 
ing the long bridge going from the mainland to the city. He is 
a Missionary Baptist preacher and has been for more than twen- 
ty-five years. During the battle of Galveston he saw a woman 
going through the street with two children, one of whom was. 


killed by a piece of bombshell. Mrs. Berry also had two nephews 
in the battle, Cornelius Hampshire and Barney Hampshire. Old 
man John Hampshire lived on elevated ground at Bolivar Point, 
and two shells from the Harriet Lane fell in his yard but did 
not explode. While Mrs. Berry was on a visit to the Hampshires 
some years later, these shells were shown her. Young Joseph 
Berry, who died in the Confederate service, belonged to Captain 
Hally's company, of Belton. Lieutenant Emory of the same 
company was also from Belton. Colonel Mullins, who com- 
manded the regiment, was from Florence, Williamson County. 
Grandma Berry has belonged to the Baptist Church ever since 
1841. The first Missionary Baptist Church in Williamson County 
was organized in her house by Eevs. Garrett and Talafero. The 
latter preached there fourteen months. Mrs. Berry knew the 
old pioneer Baptist preacher, Z. N". Morrell, well. 

One of the daughters-in-law of Mrs. Berry, who was a Donnell, 
had a brother killed during the war at Yellow Bayou. In the 
old family Bible the writer found the following entry : 

"Wiley H. Donnell was wounded in the fight on Yellow Bayou 
on the 18th of May, 1864, and died of his wound on the same 
night at 9 o'clock, aged 24 years, 2 months and 11 days. Had 
been in the Confederate service two years and nine months." 

Donnell was killed by a wounded Federal soldier while lying 
on the ground and not able to get up. 

Grandma Berry, has seventy-four grandchildren that she knows 
of, and one hundred and twenty-four great-grandchildren, and 
two great-great-grandchildren. Her oldest daughter is 64 years 
old. Emanuel, her oldest son, is 64. Her next, John, is 60, and 
her youngest is 40 years old. Very few people live to see their 
children become old and gray around them, or such a numerous 
offspring of grandchildren. She is a small woman, with hair 
white as snow and a healthy-looking round face without many 
wrinkles, considering her age. 






Came to Texas in 1837. 

William Alexander Anderson Wallace, better known as "Big 
Foot," was born in Lexington, Eockbridge County, Virginia, on 
the 3d day of April, 1817. His ancestors came from the high- 
lands of Scotland at an early day, and took part in the war for 
American independence on the side of the colonists. He had 
two uncles killed at the battle of Guilford Courthouse. The Wal- 
laces were all powerful men physically. The subject of this 
sketch when in his prime was 6 feet 2 inches in his moccasins, 
and weighed 240 pounds. He had one uncle who was nearly 7 
feet, and one brother who was 6 feet 5 inches. "Big Foot" had 
long arms and large hands, and his hair was black, thick, and in- 
clined to curl. 

Nothing of interest occurred in the life of Wallace until he 
was about 20 years of age. At that time w r ar had commenced in 
Texas between the American colonists and the Mexicans. Many 
brave young men went from the States to assist the Texans 
against the dictator, Santa Anna, and among these was Samuel 
Wallace, brother of Big Foot, or William, as he was then only 
known. Samuel was killed in the massacre of Fannin's men at 
Goliad, as were three other relatives. When the news reached 
Lexington, Va., great was the grief in the Wallace family, and 
William took an oath that he was going to Texas and spend his 
life killing Mexicans. One reason of this bitter hatred was the 
fact that his brother and all the others were killed after they had 
surrendered and been disarmed. 

As soon as he could get ready William set out for New Orleans, 
and from there took shipping for Galveston. A terrible storm 
occurred on the way and many vessels were wrecked. The one 
Wallace was on, the Diadem, rode out the gale well and arrived 
safe and sound at her destined port. Galveston, however, had 
nearly been destroyed, and ships were high and dry in the town. 
The Diadem came to anchor in Galveston Bay on the 5th day of 
October, 1837, and Wallace for the first time set foot on Texas 


The war was over in Texas. Santa Anna had been defeated 
and captured the year before at the famous battle of San Jacinto, 
and Texas was now an independent republic. Wallace drifted 
up to Bastrop, on the Colorado, and only found a few families 
there. Among them were Egglestone, Manlove, and Mays. After 
a short stay here he went on up to where a settlement was start- 
ing at La Grange. Col. John H. Moore owned the land where 
the town was afterwards built, but was the only resident there 
when Wallace arrived. 

Shortly after coming here Big Foot had his first experience 
with Indians. They made a raid among the scattered settlers in 
the vicinity of La Grange or the Moore settlement, and were 
pursued by five men, among whom were Gorman Woods, William 
Wallace, and a man named Black. The Indians were overtaken 
and a running fight of several miles across a prairie took place, 
in which two of the Indians were killed and one wounded. Wal- 
lace killed one of them. 

Wallace was fond of the woods, and hunted almost continually 
while at La Grange. On one occasion, while out .on Buckner's 
Creek alone, he was suddenly surrounded by a large party of 
Lipan Indians and captured. They carried him to their camp 
and kept him for a week or more, but at the end of that time 
he eluded them and got back to the settlement. 

In 1838 Wallace made his first trip to San Antonio, arriving 
there on the 14th day of April. Shortly after arriving he went 
and took a look at the Alamo. Signs of the fierce battle were on 
every side. An outer wall inclosed the fort in front and reached 
out into the plaza, where was an entrance through two large 
gates. The walls had been partly demolished by cannon shots, 
and the gates had been torn and twisted around and piles of 
rock had been thrown up here and there. The ashes were still 
to be seen where the slain Texans were burned, with small pieces 
of charred bones among them. Wallace stayed in San Antonio 
some time and killed many deer in the prairie around. When 
Austin was selected for the capital in 1839, Wallace went there 
and found a town of small cabins and tents. As many new 
buildings were going up, Wallace obtained a job to hew logs at a 
salary of $200 per month and board. He worked at this two 
months, and then went into a partnership with a man named 
William Leggett to raft cedar down the Colorado from high up 


in the mountains. Austin was on the extreme frontier, and 
nothing but one vast wilderness beyond, in which Wallace de- 
lighted. It best suited his roving disposition and hermit-like 
nature. He loved the wild woods and gloried in all the primeval 
scenes of nature, — her lofty rock and cedar-capped mountains, 
deep canyons, dark brakes and forest, clear springs and swift- 
rushing river. The deer, turkey, buffalo, wild horses, and the 
painted savage all had charms for him. He would take exten- 
sive rambles up the Colorado and then make wide circles back to 
the settlements, shooting game by the way, and eating and sleep- 
ing when and where he felt disposed to do so. 

In Austin at this time was a good natured, jolly Irishman, 
named William Fox, who went into partnership with Wallace, 
and, renting a small cabin in town, kept "bach" there together. 
They took contracts for work, and one of these was to haul rock 
from the mountains to build houses, and they made a great deal 
of money. Also in this country at that time was a noted Indian 
called Big Foot, who gave the settlers much trouble. He was a 
Waco, and had a band of eight with him. He would come into 
the town at night, kill who he could, and carry off horses and 
other property. He was a wily rascal, and the settlers tried in 
vain to kill him. His tracks measured fourteen inches with his 
moccasins on ; hence his name. He was also powerful physically, 
being 6 feet 7 inches in height, muscular, and weighing about 
300 pounds. Wallace was anxious to kill him, and many miles he 
trailed him. He saw him three times, but never was close enough 
at those times to shoot. A man named Thomas Green shot him 
once and wounded him in the knee. This man Green was after- 
wards Gen. Tom Green, and was killed at the battle of Blair's 
Landing during the civil war. Some think that Wallace received 
the name of Big Foot from killing this Indian, but when the 
writer interviewed the old captain a few years ago and asked the 
question, he said : "No ; Ed Westfall killed him on the Llano. I 
trailed him many times and saw him three times at a distance, 
but never shot at him." 

"Then," said I, "there is another account in circulation that 
the Mexicans gave you that name while a prisoner in their hands 
in Mexico after the battle of Mier, because they could not find 
a pair of shoes large enough for you in the City of Mexico." 

"No," said he, "that is not so. There were men in the com- 


mand who had larger feet than I. The Mexicans all have small 
feet, and they could not find shoes to fit any of ns. My feet are 
not large in proportion to my body. See? (and he held them 
ont for my inspection, and it was even so — No. 9^). But 10's," 
he said, "fit easy. But," the old man continued, "I did get my 
name from the Big Foot Indian, but not because I killed him." 

The story is this : One night in 1839 the Big Foot Indian 
came into the town of Austin, and in prowling about committed 
some theft on the premises of a man named Gravis, and then 
went to the cabin occupied by Fox and Wallace. Next morning 
Gravis trailed the Indian to the doorstep of Wallace, and without 
trying to trace it any further roused Wallace and accused him 
as the depredator. Wallace also were moccasins and made a large 
track, but he was so incensed at Gravis that he was about to whip 
him on the spot, and made a grab at him. Gravis got out of the 
way and told Wallace to prove himself clear and he would apolo- 
gize, and there would be no fight. Wallace said he could do that, 
and at once went to the Indian's track and placed his foot in it 
with the moccasin on, and made Gravis come up close enough to 
look at it, and showed him how much longer the Indian's track 
was than his. This was convincing, so Gravis begged pardon 
and walked off. During this episode Fox came to the door and 
took notice of the whole transaction, and while Wallace was 
standing in the Indian's track, laughed and said, "Now, Wallace, 
when the Big Foot Indian is not around we will call you Big- 
Foot." Others took up the name, and so it came about that when 
some one would make a remark about Big Foot another would 
ask, "Which do you mean, the Indian or Big Foot Wallace?" 
So the name stuck to him and has been famous along the border 
for more than half a century. 

It is a strange coincidence that the man who gave Wallace the 
name of Big Foot was finally killed by the Big Foot Indian. 
Fox was one day hoeing a small patch of corn surrounded by a 
brush fence in the suburbs of the town, when Big Foot shot 
him from the fence. Wallace wanted now more than ever to 
kill the Indian, and after burying his partner took the trail, but 
was unsuccessful. He killed one of the band, however, at Mount 
Bonnell on the Colorado, above Austin. We will have to skip 
over many interesting incidents in the life of Wallace, and only 
mention the most important of battles, etc. 


In 1840 William Wallace, now known as Big Foot, once more 
visited the historic city of San Antonio. His restless spirit, how- 
ever, could not be confined to the streets of a city. He soon went 
further southwest and camped and hunted along the Medina 
River. Finally he built a cabin on the west bank of the stream, 
ten miles below the .present town of Castroville, in Medina 

We now come to that period in the life of Big Foot Wallace 
when he began to serve the young republic in the capacity of a 
Texas ranger under the famous Jack Hays, who stands pre-emi- 
nently at the head of that long list of ranger captains. In 1840 
the situation around San Antonio, which was then on the ex- 
treme frontier, was anything but encouraging to those who wished 
to settle in the country and lead quiet lives and make good citi- 
zens. Besides the numerous raids of hostile bands of Indians 
who roamed at will from the line of New Mexico to the coast 
region of Texas, horsethieves, desperadoes, gamblers, and fugi- 
tives from justice who had fled from other States, swarmed 
around all the border towns, and more especially San Antonio. 
No one was safe who was in opposition to this element. It was 
almost impossible to keep horses. They would dig through adobe 
houses to get them. A strong hand was needed here to awe this 
class and hold them in check. There was one man in western 
Texas at the time who was equal to the emergency. His name 
was John Coffee Hays, better known to history as Jack Hays, the 
famous Texas ranger. He was a surveyor by profession, brave 
and energetic. He had already made himself known and felt at 
the famous batle of Plum Creek. General Houston recognized 
the ability of the young surveyor, and seeing the necessity of an 
armed active force at San Antonio to hold both Indians and law- 
less characters in check, commissioned Jack Hays to raise a com- 
pany, to be stationed at San Antonio as headquarters, and to 
follow horsethieves or Indians anywhere he wished, and to shoot 
horsethieves on the spot if necessary. 

Big Foot Wallace heard of the organization, and at once ap- 
plied for admission and was enrolled as one of the company. 
Captain Hays was very particular as to the kind of men he en- 
listed, and that is one reason why he had the best set of Indian 
fighters, taken as a whole, that Texas ever produced. A man 
had to have courage, good character, be a good rider, good shot, 


and have a horse worth $100. In this first company the writer 
has learned the names of Wallace, Woolfork, Joe Tivey, Mark 
Eapier, Kit Ackland, Jim Galbreth, Tom Buchanan, Coho Jones, 
Peter Poe, Mike Chevalier, and Ad Gillespie. Among those who 
came later and followed the fortunes of Hays, and helped to fight 
his battles and gain a reputation for him as an Indian fighter 
which is almost world-wide, were Sam Walker, Sam Lucky, 
George Neill (or Nail as he was called), James Dunn, Ben Mc- 
Culloch, Henry McCulloch, Ben Highsmith, Tom Galbreth, An- 
drew Sowell, John Sowell, P. H. Bell, Creed Taylor, Sam Cherry, 
Noah Cherry, John Carlin, Eufus Perry, Joe Davis, Pipkin Tay- 
lor, Josiah Taylor, Eufus Taylor, James Nichols, Calvin Turner. 
Milford Day, Lee Jackson, and many other gallant men whose 
names can not now be obtained. 

During the years 1840-41 Hays and his men captured many 
horsethieves in and around San Antonio and shot several of them. 
On one occasion they captured a notorious Mexican freebooter 
named Antonio Corao, and such was the nature of his crimes 
that it was decided to put an end to his existence. Four men were 
detailed to shoot him, namely, Big Foot Wallace, Chapman Wool- 
fork, Sam Walker, and William Powell. The execution took 
place at the head of the San Antonio Eiver. 

During the stay of the rangers in San Antonio they, did a 
great deal of scouting and fought several battles with the In- 
dians. Things went on in this way until the fall of 1842, when 
the Mexicans under Gen. Adrian Wall made a sudden descent 
from Mexico and captured San Antonio. Prior to this event, 
however, there was a suspicion that something was wrong, from 
the fact that all at once no ammunition could be bought in San 
Antonio by the Americans. It had all been secured by Mexicans 
at various times. Wallace also told Captain Hays that there were 
at least a dozen strange Mexicans in town who did not live there. 
Hays now sent Wallace and another ranger named Nathan Mal- 
lon to Austin to get a supply of powder and lead. Captain Wal- 
lace told the writer that Mallon was afterwards sheriff of Bexar 
County. While in Austin the Indians made a raid and killed 
Capt. William Pyron and a man named Donovan, north of Aus- 
tin about two miles. Wallace and Mallon went out and helped 
to bring the bodies in and bury them. They then obtained their 
ammunition and started back to San Antonio. Wallace had a 


full keg of powder rolled up in a blanket and tied to the pom- 
mel of his saddle. Mallon had a supply of caps and lead. As 
there were no settlements between Austin and San Antonio, they 
providentially went back by way of Seguin to get corn for their 
horses. San Antonio had been captured during their absence, 
and if they had gone directly back, they and their ammunition 
would have fallen into the hands of the Mexicans. At Seguin 
they found Captain Hays and his lieutenant, Henry E. McCnl- 
loch. The town (San Antonio) was suddenly captured, and part 
of the ranger force fell into the hands of the Mexicans. Hays 
and some of his men escaped. The whole country east was now 
rallying under Gen. Matthew Caldwell to advance upon San 
Antonio and give battle to this large band of 1500 freebooters 
and robbers. The Texans, 200 in number, advanced to the Salado 
Creek, seven miles northeast of the city, and Captain Hays with 
what rangers he had under his command was sent to draw the 
Mexicans out. What few rangers there were in town when the 
Mexicans entered made a short fight, in which the bandmaster 
was killed, and also the horse of General Wall. 

Hays and his men went so near town and gave the Mexicans 
such a dare that the whole force of cavalry and infantry came 
out. An exciting chase now commenced across the prairie back 
to the position of the Texans. Four hundred cavalry chasing 
and firing at the small squad under the gallant Hays. When the 
infantry arrived with cannon the main battle came off, and the 
Mexicans were badly defeated. 

When the Mexicans captured the quarters of the rangers in 
San Antonio they obtained among other things a pair of panta- 
loons belonging to Big Foot Wallace. During the battle now he 
was on the lookout to kill a big Mexican and get another pair 
to replace them and get even. During a close charge by the Mex- 
icans one daring fellow charged Wallace, and presenting his 
carbine at him, cried out, "Take that, you d — d cowthief," and 
fired in his face. The large ounce ball from the escopet grazed 
the nose of Wallace and almost blinded him with smoke. Big 
Foot fired, but missed. Henry Whaling, standing near, said, 
"D — n such shooting as that," and aiming his rifle, quickly sent 
a ball through the Mexican's body, who fell against a mesquite 
tree and soon died. 

During the next charge, one of the rangers said to Wallace: 


"Big Foot, yonder is a Mexican who has on a pair of pants large 
enough to fit yon." The Mexican in question was at this time 
assisting some of the wounded back to the rear. Wallace was a 
conspicuous figure during the fight. His dress, massive frame, 
and actions, while talking about the big Mexican, attracted the 
attention of General Caldwell, who rode up to him and said, 
"What command do you hold, sir ?" "None/' says Wallace. "I 
am one of Jack Hays' rangers, and want that fellow's breeches 
over yonder," at the same time pointing out his intended victim. 
Before the battle was over he killed him and secured the coveted 
prize, which was made of splendid material, and Wallace wore 
them the following year while a prisoner in Mexico after the 
unfortunate battle of Mier. 

The saddest finale to the battle of Salado was the massacre of 
Dawson's men, who were cut off and nearly all killed or captured 
while trying to make their way to Caldwell. 

The Mexicans soon left for Mexico, and were followed as far 
as the Hondo River, and the rear guard attacked by the rangers 
under Hays and some cannon captured, but failing to be sup- 
ported by the main body had to retreat back. Wallace was in 
this fight, and the mule he rode was slightly wounded. 

In 1843, in retaliation for the invasion of Texas under Wall, 
an expedition started to Mexico under General Somervell. . Cap- 
tain Hays and his rangers were along, but the expedition went 
to pieces on the Rio Grande and most of the men came back. 
Among these were Captain Hays and most of his men. Five 
captains, however, determined to go on in the invasion of Mexico 
if they could get men enough. Three hundred men came over to 
them. Among these were Big Foot Wallace, Sam Walker, and 
others of the rangers. The captains were William S. Fisher, Ew- 
ing Cameron, Eastland, Reese, and Pierson. After the separa- 
tion they went down the river four miles and went into camp. 
Next day they elected Captain Fisher to the command and con- 
tinued their march down the river. On the 21st of December, 
1842, they encamped opposite, the town of Mier. Ominous 
name ! How the hearts of the readers of Texas history now 
thrill at the mention of it. Then it had no significance. 

The town of Mier was six miles from the camp of the Texans. 
On the following morning they crossed the Rio Grande, marched 
to the town, and made a requisition on the alcalde for provisions 


and clothing. He promised that the articles should be delivered 
the next day at the river, but below the camp of the Texans. 
The Texans, however, when they went back to their camp brought 
the alcalde along with them as surety for the delivery of the 
goods. On the 23d the Texans moved their camp opposite the 
place where the goods were to be delivered, but the day passed off, 
and the next, and still the goods did not come. The Texas spies 
who had been kept on the west side of the river on the morning 
of the 24th captured a Mexican, who reported that General Am- 
pudia had arrived in Mier with troops and prevented the fulfill- 
ment of the alcalde's promise. The Texans then determined to 
again cross the river and give them battle. By 4 o'clock in the 
evening they had all crossed and were on their march to the 
town. Captain Baker had command of the spies, and first met 
the Mexicans who sallied out from Mier. Ampudia retreated 
before the Texans, and at dark again entered the town. 

The Texans advanced to the Alcantra Creek, east of the town, 
and halted for some time. This little stream ran very rapidly and 
it was difficult to find a crossing in the night. They finally suc- 
ceeded, however, in getting over. By this time a lively fight had 
commenced between Baker's spies and the Mexican cavalry. 
Five of the Texans were cut off and captured. Among these 
were Dr. Sinnickson, Sam Walker, Beasley, and "Legs" Lewis. 
Others made narrow escapes. It was a hand to hand fight, and 
the Texans who were cut off were compelled to abandon their 
horses and take themselves across fences and ditches. Sam 
Walker was caught by a powerful Mexican and held down, while 
others tied him. One man named McMullins was caught by the 
legs while getting over a fence, but his boots pulled off and he 
made his escape. They had all emptied their guns and pistols 
in the fight and had no time to reload. Wallace had advanced to 
the edge of town, but saw the Mexican cavalry coming and went 
back. He passed "Legs" Lewis and said to him, "You had bet- 
ter run; the Mexicans will get you, sure." 

After the main body of the Texans had passed the creek they 
advanced to the town and Wallace came in with them. They 
passed down a street leading to the public square, where the Mex- 
icans had planted cannon. While doing so they were fired on 
and a man named Jones was killed. He was the next man in the 
rear of Wallace as they came in single file, and Big Foot felt the 


wind of the bullet that killed him. He was a well dressed man, 
and the Mexicans attempted to strip his body. The Texans 
halted and turned back, and a sharp fight ensued in which twenty 
Mexicans were killed. When the Texans arrived at a point near 
the cannon they received a discharge of grape shot which swept 
the street and caused them to seek shelter behind the buildings. 
It was now dark, Christmas evening, 1842. The only chance for 
the Texans to advance was by opening passage ways through the 
buildings and advance in this way towards the cannons. All 
night they worked, and when daylight came they were in fifty 
yards of the cannon. Their horses had been left in camp under a 
guard. While engaged in this work Wallace found a Mexican 
baby that had been abandoned during the hasty exit of the occu- 
pants of the house on the approach of the Texans. It set up 
a terrible squall when the white men got into the room where 
it was, and Big Foot took it up, and advancing to a wall inclos- 
ing a yard, climbed up and dropped it over, at the same time 
shouting out in Spanish for some one to come and get the mu- 
chacho. He soon heard a woman's voice on the outside and sup- 
posed it was taken care of. 

At daylight portholes were opened in the various rooms the 
men had gotten into, and soon the deadly crack of the rifles were 
heard as they commenced firing on the artillerymen. The can- 
nons were soon silenced, for it was death for a Mexican to go near 
them. During the day three desperate attempts were made by 
the enemy to storm and carry the position of the Texans, but each 
failed with fearful loss. Wallace said the Mexicans came so thick 
it was impossible to miss them, and the bravest of them were the 
presidio ales (town guards) who wore black hats with white bands 
around them. They were nearly all killed. In one of the rooms 
occupied by the Texans, and where Wallace was, a strong Mex- 
ican drink "aguadente" was found. The men at once commenced 
drinking it to excess, and even one of their officers drank so much 
he fell on the floor and was wounded by a bullet while in that 
condition. The men were so worn with the night's work that 
when they found this liquor they drank it out of tin cups like 
water. Wallace, seeing it would render them unfit for service, 
although he loved it as well as any of them, turned the balance 
of the firewater out on the floor. 

Before the fight commenced, Captain Wallace says one of their 


scouts, Joe Berry, fell down a bluff and broke his leg. His 
brother Bates Berry and some others who were with him carried 
Joe to a vacant house in the outskirts of town. During the battle 
they were discovered and attacked by Mexicans. A rush was 
made by the Texans to reach the position of their' comrades, but 
were all killed except Bates. He only left his wounded or crip- 
pled brother when he saw there was no chance to save him, and 
at the earnest solicitation of the latter, who no doubt thought the 
Mexicans would spare him. One of the men killed in the sally 
was a bugler named Austin. A Mexican lieutenant named Alger- 
ette, who was in command of the party who assaulted the posi- 
tion where the unfortunate Joe Berry lay, went in and killed 
him with his sword as he lay helpless, and then bragged about it 
after the surrender and exhibited the blood-stained sword. Dur- 
ing the night battle, bugles were constantly sounding, and it was 
reported that the Mexicans were being largely reinforced. The 
Texans, however, were undismayed, and continued to load and 
fire their rifles with such deadly effect that great confusion pre- 
vailed among the Mexicans, who continually uttered cries of rage 
and pain amidst a constant blast of bugles. After it was no 
longer possible for the Mexicans to go near the cannons, and their 
charges had been repulsed, they occupied the house tops and other 
places convenient to shoot from, and kept their bodies hid as 
much as possible. Many of those killed were shot in the head. 
Wallace said he loaded and fired his rifle fifteen times, always 
waited for a good chance, and had a bead on a Mexican every" 
time he touched the trigger. The Mexicans tried to recover their 
cannon by throwing ropes around them from the corners of build- 
ings, and succeeded in getting some of them away. 

During the fight after daylight on the 26th the small guard 
which had been left on the east side of the Alcantra Creek at- 
tacked about sixty of the Mexican cavalry and routed them, but 
seeing a large reinforcement coming, made a desperate attempt 
to join their comrades in the town. Out of the nine men who 
made this attempt two succeeded, four were killed, and three 
were captured. 

During one close charge many were killed and wounded on 
both sides. Colonel Fisher himself was severely wounded. Cap- 
tain Cameron had fortified himself and men in the rear of the 
building occupied by Fisher and his men, and had also been ex- 


posed to a fearful fire, during which he had three men killed 
and seven wounded. The bugles of the Mexicans began sounding 
a charge from different parts of the town, and Cameron hastily 
entered the room occupied by Fisher and asked for reinforce- 
ments to help defend his position. About that time a white flag 
was brought out by Dr. Sinnickson, one of the Texans who had 
been captured as before stated. He was ordered to do so by 
■General Ampudia, and to tell the Texans he had 1700 troops in 
the city and 300 more on the road from Monterey, and that it 
would be useless for them to continue to resist, and that if they 
would surrender they would be treated as prisoners of war; if 
not, no quarter would be given. The prospect was gloomy for 
the Texans, and although they had fought as men worthy the 
name of Texan, and had caused the streets of Mier to almost run 
with Mexican blood, they still saw no chance to win. They were 
on foreign soil, hemmed in on all sides by their enemies, their 
number reduced, and the survivors almost worn out. Some, how- 
ever, were not in favor of a surrender, and thought they could 
make a sally from their barricaded positions, and by keeping 
together fight their way out of town and back across the Eio 
'Grande. This would have been child's play compared with what 
they did attempt later on. Many among Fisher's men were in 
favor of a surrender, and Cameron hurried back to his own 
and exhorted them to continue the fight. Others under the dif- 
ferent captains favored a surrender, and commenced leaving their 
positions and giving up their guns in the streets. When Fisher's 
men commenced going out to surrender, Wallace, who had been 
with them most of the time, left and ran to the position of Cam- 
eron. Others now left their commands and came to Cameron, 
until forty or fifty stood around him and asked him to take 
command and continue the battle or make a rush and fight their 
way out. At this time great confusion prevailed; some were 
surrendering and others firing. Every few minutes barricades 
would be torn away and men would march out four or five at a 
time and surrender. Cameron held his position until all the 
balance had surrendered, and seeing that all hope was gone, said 
to his men, who with stern but anxious faces stood around him : 
"Boys, it is no use for us to continue the fight any longer ; they 
are all gone but us." The men stood for a few minutes and 
looked at the hordes of Mexicans, who were now making a grand 


display, the cavalry charging up and down the streets, and others 
carrying away the guns of the Texans, who were now prisoners 
and herded together on the plaza. The Mexican soldiers and the 
citizens of the town were making a great outcry and cheering 
for victory. A gallant officer named Thomas J. Green, who was 
with Cameron, broke his sword before he would give it up. Wal- 
lace was opposed to the surrender. He remembered the fate of 
his brother and other relatives after the surrender at Goliad, and 
expected nothing else for himself and those with him on this 
occasion, and told them so. The gallant Cameron, however, 
wishing to save the lives of his men, took the lead and they fol- 
lowed. They were met by a strong detachment of Mexicans as 
they emerged from their position into the street, and the painful 
work commenced of handing over their guns, pistols, and 
knives. Wallace stayed back until the last, closely watching 
every incident of the surrender, thinking it might be necessary 
to kill another Mexican if the slaughter which he expected should 
commence too soon. Finally, however, he handed up his arms 
and was the last man to do so at Mier. Big Foot said as they 
were marched to the plaza his shoes became red with blood where 
the Mexicans bled who were killed or wounded in those desperate 
charges. He also saw blood in the gutters and on the house tops. 
He says a Mexican whom General Somervell raised and educated 
was killed in the fight on the Mexican side, and had the general's 
rifle with him. 

The Mexican loss in the battle, considering the numbers en- 
gaged, was fearful. Their own report was 500 killed out of a 
force of 2000. The Texans had 260 men in the town, sixteen of 
whom were killed and thirty wounded. The Mexicans had forty 
artillerymen killed. 

Captain Wallace told the writer he thought 800 Mexicans 
were killed, and while the results were not so greats it was a 
harder fought battle than San Jacinto. The Texans were carried 
up to the square from where the surrender took place, and Wal- 
lace says he saw four rows of dead Mexicans reaching across the 
plaza, and the priests were among them saying mass. 

While this was being done the bodies of the slain Texans, 
stripped of their clothing, were being dragged through the streets 
by the cavalry, followed by crowds of yelling Mexicans of all 
sizes and ages. 


During the last days of December General Ampudia set out 
with his prisoners for the City of Mexico, leaving the wounded 
at Mier in charge of Dr. Sinnickson. On January 9, 1843, the 
captive Texans arrived at Matamoros, and on the 14th set out 
from that place for Monterey, guarded by a troop of cavalry. On 
the march it was one grand jubilee with the Mexicans. They 
starved the prisoners and made them travel on foot all the dis- 
tance until their shoes were worn out, and they were thin and 
haggard. The Mexicans made grand demonstrations in passing 
through the towns, their approach being heralded with bugles 
and prancing, charging cavalry. The Texans were marched 
through the principal streets, followed by yelling mobs of men 
and boys. The women with but few exceptions pitied the half- 
starved, healf-dead Americans, some of whom were beardless 
boys, and when they arrived at Monterey the women came with 
provisions and fed them. They stayed here from the 18th to the 
20th, and were then started to Saltillo. At this place they found 
six of the Texans who were captured at San Antonio in Sep- 
tember of the year before, when Wall captured that place. Big 
Foot was at this time still wearing the pants of the Mexican 
whom he killed at the battle of Salado. 

At Saltillo Colonel Barragan took charge of the prisoners and 
proceeded with them to the Hacienda Salado, 100 miles further 
on, where they arrived on the 10th of February, and were there 
placed in prison. For some time the Texans had contemplated 
making an attempt to escape and had formulated a plan at Mon- 
terey, but one of their own officers disclosed the plot to the Mex- 
icans and the attempt was not made. Now it was set on foot 
again without detection, and carried out. There had been an ad- 
dition to the number of Texas prisoners by a portion of the Santa 
Fe prisoners who had gone on the ill-starred expedition to New 
Mexico and had all been captured and sent over into Old Mexico 
and confined with the Mier prisoners. A few survivors of the 
Dawson massacre had also been placed with them. Among the 
Santa Fe prisoners were Drs. Brennan and Lyons, who were 
anxious to make the attempt to escape. When all was ready, 
Captain Cameron gave the signal by throwing up his hat, and 
Lyons and Brennan led the charge on the guards. Cameron and 
Samuel H. Walker, who was captured before the battle of Mier, 


each charged a guard and succeeded in disarming him. This 
was at sunrise on the 11th day of February, 1843. 

As soon as the first charge was made and the guards were dis- 
armed at the door of the prison, the Texans rushed into the 
outer court of the building, where 150 infantry were guarding 
the arms and cartridge boxes. There were about 200 Texans 
and without hesitating an instant they rushed upon the Mexican 
soldiers with their naked hands, and a most desperate struggle 
commenced for the possession of the guns and cartridges. Where 
in all the world's history will we find deeds recorded of any 
braver men than these who, on that February morning in the 
prison yard of Salado, rushed empty-handed on regular soldiers, 
faced the leveled muskets with unflinching eye, received their 
fire, and then closed in on them? The Mexicans inside the 
prison court surrendered or fled after the first fire, but still the 
Texans were not masters of the situation. Another company of 
infantry was stationed at the gate, and a force of cavalry out- 
side. Without hesitating, the desperate men rushed on these 
and a terrible fight ensued. Most of the prisoners had secured 
guns when this second hand to hand fight took place. Big Foot 
Wallace had as yet secured no gun ; but he rushed upon a Mex- 
ican who had fired his gun and tried to disarm him. The fellow 
had a bayonet on his musket, however, and made a vicious thrust 
at the big Texan, who seized the bayonet, and a hard struggle 
commenced for the mastery. The bayonet came off in the hands 
of Wallace, and another unarmed prisoner came up behind and 
seized the gun by the breech and obtained possession of it. The 
Mexican then fell to his knees, held up his hands, and in Span- 
ish called for mercy, which was granted him. 

The fight at this time was fiercely raging, and Wallace went 
into the thick of it, brandishing his bayonet, which he used until 
the fight w r as over. In vain the Mexicans tried to keep the Tex- 
ans from going through the gate which would give them their 
liberty. The contest was short but bloody, and the noise and 
confusion was awful. The Mexicans uttered screams and yells 
of terror and surprise as the Texans rushed among them with 
clubbed guns after the first discharge, and delivered blows right 
and left. The cavalry became terror-stricken and fled, and the 
infantry at the gate began to throw down their arms and try to 
surrender, but for a time no stop could be put to the carnage. 


At length the voice of Cameron was heard calling on his men to 
desist as he went among them and begged for the disarmed 
guards. This put a stop to it. They all loved the brave, unselfish 
Cameron, whose ancestors came from the highlands of Scotland. 
Many Mexicans lay dead on every side, while others were moan- 
ing with broken heads and gunshot wounds. Lieutenant Barra- 
gam, son of the commander of the Mexican force, displayed great 
bravery during the fight, and refused to surrender except to an 
officer. Six Texans who had secured guns with bayonets on 
them confronted him and demanded his surrender. Backing 
against a wall, he brandished his sword and refused to do so ex- 
cept to an officer. Six bayonets were now thrust at him, but he 
so successfully parried all of them that not one point touched 
him. His saber made such rapid movements that it was hardly 
visible. About this time Big Foot Wallace came up, and some 
one told him to get a loaded gun and shoot the fellow. Wallace 
said no ; that a brave man like him should be spared. The brave 
young Mexican now called for Captain Cameron. He came at 
once, and the sword was then turned over to him. With a proud 
look the Mexican stepped back and folded his arms. His father, 
Colonel Barragan, had quit the field in cowardly flight some time 
before. Other Mexicans who had surrendered and were looking 
on during this episode said the lieutenant did not derive his 
courage from his father, but from his mother, and that he looked 
like her. The Texans did not come unscathed out of the fight ; 
five lay still and motionless among their dead foes, and many 
more were wounded. Among the dead were the brave and fear- 
less Brennan and Lyons, who led the charge at the prison door. 
The Texans now being masters of the situation, dictated terms 
to the Mexicans, one of which was that their wounded should be 
taken care of. Those who were able to travel prepared for in- 
stant flight. This was their only chance for safety, as they knew 
a large force would soon be on their trail. 

Some of the Mexican cavalrymen who had tied their horses 
and were not by them when the onset was made ran away with- 
out mounting, and other horses were found in the town, so that 
all the men were mounted by 10 o'clock a. m., and set out to- 
wards the Eio Grande. Now, kind reader, if you have tears to 
shed, "prepare to shed them now." We will see these gallant 


men back again ere long in chains, all walking skeletons, draw- 
ing beans for their lives. 

Big Foot Wallace secured a fine dun pacing mule which be- 
longed to Captain Arroyo, who had run away on foot and left 
him. By midnight the Texans were fifty miles from the scene 
of their battle, and a short halt was made and the horses fed. 
Twelve miles more were traveled and another halt was made, and 
the men slept two hours. Early the next morning they left the 
main road so as to go around the city of Saltillo. On the 13th 
they struck the road leading from Saltillo to Monclova, but on 
the next night abandoned it and took to the mountains on the 
left. This was a fatal mistake, as events which followed will 

The troubles and hardships of these brave men now com- 
menced in earnest. When too late they saw the mistake which 
they had made. The country was a barren waste of mountains, 
without water or anything in the shape of food. Six days were 
spent in trying to get through. The men were perishing with 
thirst and starvation. Horses were killed and eaten and their 
blood drank by the desperate Texans. Wallace killed the mule of 
Captain Arroyo, and he and others devoured quantities of it with 
a most ravenous appetite and quaffed cupfuls of the red blood 
with a gusto and apparent relish, as if they were drinking to 
one another's health in the saloons of San Antonio. 

Sitting around our firesides at home, surrounded by our fam- 
ilies and home comforts, we can hardly realize the gravity or 
horribleness of the situation, and turn from it with loathing. 
The dry, lonely canyon where the horses were killed to sustain 
human life: the bloody feast, akin to savage orgies, can only be 
understood rightly by those who participated in it and knew what 
hunger and thirst means after days of abstinence, coupled with 
anxious, toilsome flight. They could not long remain here ; 
swarms of cavalry with pack mules carrying provisions and water 
were on their trail. Leaving the remains of the slaughtered 
horses for the coyotes and buzzards to finish, the Texans once 
more plunged into the dark mountains in" a vain endeavor to 
reach the Rio Grande, many of them now on foot, and soon all 
of them,' for the poor horses also failed and died of thirst. They 
were hopelessly lost, and once more thirst began to torment them. 
They could no longer keep together as a body. 


All were now on foot, the horses which had not died being 
abandoned. Many became delirious, wandered away, and died in 
lonely, dry ravines, or on top of lofty mountains amid huge 
rocks. Most of the guns were cast away, and the men toiled on. 
Some would sink down with their heads dropped on their breasts 
and their feet pointing in the direction they wished to go. Big 
Foot Wallace had partly dried some of his mule meat in the 
sun and was carrying it in a haversack, and would from time 
to time partake of it until thirst became so intense he could no 
longer do so. His tongue was dry and swollen. Five more days 
he spent without water, but during that time his legs never failed 
him. The men were now badly scattered. Wallace and three 
companions stayed together and toiled on with their faces in the 
direction, as they thought, of the Eio Grande. His comrades 
were Captain Cameron, Tom Davis, and James Ogden. 

The Mexican cavalry who were on the trail of the Texans 
finally began to come upon those who were behind and to capture 
them. The main body, which had remained together and still 
had some guns with them, refused to surrender when overtaken 
unless they could do so as prisoners of war. It was a strange 
sight, this small force of half-dead men, with hollow eyes and 
sunken cheeks, boldly facing their robust, well-fed foes, and de- 
manding of them an honorable capitulation, saying they would 
fight if it was not granted. The Mexicans promised them all these 
things, and the surrender was made. Wallace and his three com- 
panions were headed off and captured within 150 yards of a pool 
of water. They surmised from the looks of the country that 
water was near, and were using their last remaining strength to 
get to it. The Mexicans doled out the water sparingly to the 
Texans, fearing they would kill themselves if allowed to drink 
all they wanted at once. While they were dispensing a small 
cupful to each man, Wallace noticed a cavalryman near him who 
had the water gourd which had been taken from him at Mier, 
and thinking they would all be shot anyway, sprang at him and 
said in Spanish, "That is my gourd; give it up." The Mexican 
soldier at once complied, saying, "Pobrecito" (poor fellow). 
Wallace turned up the gourd, and said that first swallow of 
water was the best he ever tasted. He continued to gurgle it 
down, and Tom Davis ran up to him and said, "Give me some, 
Big Foot." Wallace said he could not turn it loose, and Davis 


was unable to pull it away from him. A Mexican officer now 
took notice of what was going on in regard to the gourd episode, 
and said in Spanish, "Hell, take the water away from that fel- 
low; he will kill himself. " Three or four soldiers then tried to 
take the gourd away from the big Texan, but were unable to do 
so until he had emptied it. He was so much taller than the 
Mexicans he could hold it almost out of their reach and drink, 
and kept whirling around while doing so, and stretched his neck 
and held his head as high as he could. It was a gallon gourd, 
and was nearly full when Wallace commenced on it. After the 
water was drank Wallace dropped down on his knapsack and 
said he never felt as good in his life. In a few moments he was 
asleep. He had not slept any for five nights, except in short, 
troubled naps, with visions of running water constantly before 
him. When he fell down the officer said, "See, now, he is dead/' 

It seems that the officers in command of this squad were hu- 
mane men and treated these four prisoners well, even Captain 
Cameron. They camped here for the night, so that the worn 
and weary men could rest. Through the night a little more water 
was given occasionally to all except Wallace. He slept all night 
without once rousing up, and the soldiers said he would never 
wake, but die that way. When morning came, however, Big Foot 
waked up refreshed and hungry, and opening his knapsack be- 
gan to make a hearty meal of his remaining mule meat. One of 
the Mexicans said: "Look at that man; he is not dead; watch 
him eat." Another one came to him and asked what he was 
eating. "Mule meat," said Wallace, as he looked the Mexican 
in the face. "Whose mule was it ?" was the next question. "My 
mule," says Wallace. "It was not," said the Mexican. "He be- 
longed to Captain Arroyo." "Why did he not stay with him, 
then?" said Big Foot, as. he continued to eat, and then re- 
sumed : "The coward ran off and left him, and I got him. So 
then he belonged to me, and when I got hungry I killed him and 
ate him. Mule meat is good — better than horse meat." 

The Mexicans made diligent search and brought in all they 
could find, but of the 193 who made their escape, five died of 
thirst and starvation, four got through to Texas, and three were 
never found or heard of. 

The party who had Wallace and his companions next day after 
their capture went back to the main body, who by this time were 


taken. A few were taken and brought in every day for several 
days, and then the march commenced for Saltillo. The Texans, 
160 in number, were tied together with ropes and marched in 
strings. On the 27th they were brought into the city, and an 
order was there to the commanding officer from Santa Anna to 
have the Texans shot. The officer refused to comply, and said he 
would resign his commission before he would do so. The British 
consul also interfered and had it stopped. One of the prisoners,. 
James C. Wilson, was a British subject, and the consul proposed 
to set him at liberty, but he refused to accept it, saying he was a 
Texan and would die with his comrades if necessary. He lived 
to get back to Texas, and was honored by all who knew him. 
He died in Gonzales County. Wilson County was named for him. 
His son, Judge James C. Wilson, lives in Karnes County, and 
is judge of the district in which he lives. 

The prisoners were now all ironed and marched back to Salado, 
the scene of the fight. It was now the 24th day of March. What 
a sad return, — haggard, poor, half dead, and in irons ! Here 
another order was received from Santa Anna. This was to shoot 
every tenth man. The irons were kept on them and the guards 
doubled. When the prisoners arrived at the scene of their recent 
break for liberty, Wallace and Henry Whaling were near each 
other, and noticed some Mexicans digging a ditch. Whaling 
remarked, "That ditch is for us." The words were prophetic, as 
far as he was concerned. He drew a black bean, was shot, and 
buried in the ditch with his companions who met the same fate. 

In decimating the prisoners, it was decided among the Mex- 
ican officers to let them draw lots, so that each man would have 
a chance for his life. The lots were to be determined by drawing 
black and white beans, — the white life, the black death. A 
pitcher (or jar, Big Foot Wallace called it, and says it was shaped 
like a ninepin) was procured and ten white beans to one black 
one was placed in it, corresponding to the number of men. 

When all was ready the Texans were marched out a short dis- 
tance and formed in line. An officer now approached bearing the 
fatal jar, in which Avere 159 white beans and 17 black ones. Few 
men even in regular war times pass through such a fearful ordeal 
as did the men who drew beans for their lives at Salado. 

For a few moments the men stood in silence, and then the 
drawing commenced. No severer test could have been made of 


men's nerve than on this occasion. Soldiers will rush to almost 
certain death in the excitement of battle, but to stand and decide 
their fate in a second by the drawing of a bean was worse than 
charging to the muzzle of a blazing cannon. The Mexican offi- 
cers were very anxious to kill Captain Cameron, and were in 
hopes that he would draw a black bean. To make this almost 
certain the black beans were placed on top and he was made to 
draw first, but the balance came in alphabetical order. As he 
reached for the pitcher, which was held high so that no one could 
see into it, one of the captives (William F. Wilson) said, "Dip 
deep, captain." He was a close observer, and no doubt had an 
idea of the job that was put up. Cameron acted on the sugges- 
tion, ran his fingers to the bottom, and pulled out a white bean. 
A look of satisfaction passed over the faces of the Texans, for 
they all loved the brave and unselfish Cameron. The Mexicans 
scowled. The drawing now went on rapidly. All "dipped deep/' 
and it was some time before a black bean was drawn. 

Although the men knew that some would be compelled to draw 
the black beans, they could not help showing their satisfaction 
as friend after friend brought forth the bean which gave them 
life. What keen pangs, however, wrenched their hearts when a 
fatal black bean was brought to light, held by a dear comrade 
who had stood by them in the midst of battle or in the desolate 
mountain wilds, now compelled to die — shot like a dog, far from 
home and the loved ones there. Most of the men showed the ut- 
most coolness, scarcely a tremor passing over their faces as the 
drawing went on. One noted gambler from Austin, when his 
time came to draw, stepped up with a smile and said, "Boys, this 
is the largest stake I ever played for." When he drew forth his 
hand a black bean was between his thumb and forefinger. With- 
out changing the smile on his face, he took his place in the death 
line and remarked, "Just my luck." The prisoners were chained 
together in couples, and as fast as the black beans were drawn the 
unfortunate holder was placed in the death line. If two chained 
together both drew black beans they were not separated, but 
moved together to the fatal line. "When one was taken and the 
other left" the chains were taken off and the condemned fastened 
to one of his companions in distress. 

Young Robert Beard was sick and not able to stand in line to 
draw his bean, and the pitcher had to be carried to where he lay 


on a blanket guarded by a Mexican soldier. Before his time came 
to draw he told his brother, who was present, that if he himself 
drew a white bean and his brother a black one, he wanted to ex- 
change and be shot instead of his brother. The brother refused, 
but both drew white beans and lived to return home. 

It is generally believed and told that Big Foot Wallace drew 
two beans at Salado ; that one of his comrades, a young man, ex- 
pressed such great fear that he would draw a black bean, that 
Wallace gave him his white one and said he would take another 
chance. When the writer asked the old captain about this mat- 
ter, he said : "No, I never drew but one, and had no idea of giv- 
ing it away ;" and continuing said : "I could not have done so 
if I wished, for I heard a Mexican officer say that there would 
be no swapping of beans when the Beard brothers were talking 
about doing so, and I suppose it was from this incident that the 
story started in regard to me." 

One young fellow, almost a boy, drew a black bean, and giving 
one appealing look to his comrades, asked them to avenge his 

"Talking" Bill Moore, when it came to his turn to draw, said, 
"Boys, I had rather draw for a Spanish horse and lose him." He 
was a lively fellow, and helped to keep up the spirits of the bal- 
ance. Good fortune favored him, and he drew a white .bean. 
While the drawing was in progress some of the petty Mexican 
officers did all in their power to annoy the prisoners. When one 
drew a black bean they expressed great sorrow, hypocritically of 
course, and then said, "Cheer up ; better luck next time," when 
they knew this was the last chance the poor fellow would ever 

Wallace was chained to a man named Sesinbaugh, and said 
if there ever was a Christian it was him. His time came first to 
draw, and as he put his hand forward to get his bean he prayed 
for himself and Big Foot Wallace. He drew a white bean. Wal- 
lace said that afterwards, in the dark dungeon of Perote, chained 
to the floor, at the midnight hour he sang and prayed and 
thanked God that it was as well with him as it was. 

As the drawing went on the chances for Wallace grew less, his 
letter (W) coming at the bottom of the list. The boys had 
"dipped deep" until nearly all the white beans had been dipped 
out. When he drew there was as many black beans in the jar as 


white ones. When his time came his hand was so large he had 
difficulty in squeezing it down to the beans, and they were so 
scarce he scooped two up against the side of the vessel and got 
them between his fingers* and carefully felt of them. He was 
under the impression that the black beans were a little larger 
than the white ones. The Mexicans were watching him closely, 
and one of them told him to hurry up, and that if he pulled out 
two beans and one was a black one he would have to take it. Big 
Foot paid no attention to this. Life was at stake now. After 
feeling the beans a few seconds one seemed to be a little larger 
than the other, and he let it go. The one he pulled out was 
white, but he was satisfied the other was black. When Wallace 
drew his hand out of the jar a Mexican officer took hold of it to 
examine it, and called up several others to look how large it was. 
The next two men to draw after Wallace both drew black beans. 
They were Henry Whaling and W. C. Wing. 

The black beans were now all out, and the last three men on 
the list did not draw. An officer turned up the jar and three 
white beans fell to the ground. 

W. C. Wing, the last man to draw a black bean, was visibly 
affected. He was young, and when at home was very religious, 
but had left the beaten track of Christianity and had gone sadly 
astray, which fact seemed to trouble him very much. He re- 
ferred to it repeatedly during the short time before his execution. 

When the drawing was over and the condemned men stood in 
the death rank, chained two and two together, their roll stood as 
follows : L. L. Cash, J. D. Cocke, Robert Durham, William N. 
Eastland, Edward Este, Eobert Harris, S. L. Jones, Patrick 
Mahan, James Ogden, Charles Eoberts, William Rowan, J. L. 
Shepard (cousin of the writer), J. M. N. Thompson, James N". 
Torrey, James Turnbull, Henry Whaling, and W. C. Wing. 

Henry Whaling asked for something to eat, saying, "I do not 
wish to starve and be shot, too." Strange to say, the Mexicans 
complied with his request and two soldiers' rations was issued to 
him. He ate it with relish, and then said he was ready to die. 
During a few minutes before the execution, while preliminaries 
were being arranged, the decimated men stood in silence, intently 
watching their captors. Not a movement escaped their notice. 
When the firing squad was detailed and counted off, some little 
sis^n of emotion was seen on the countenances of a few. There 


was a nervous twitching about the mouth. Their bosoms heaved 
and their breath came short and quick. Others stood as calmly 
as if on parade. 

The irons were now taken off and they were led away to execu- 
tion^ bidding their more fortunate comrades farewell as they 
marched off. Many tears were seen running down the cheeks of 
the emaciated and sun-burned faces of the fortunate ones as they 
responded to this last good-bye. 

When they arrived at the place of execution, which was just 
outside of the village, the Texans asked permission to be shot in 
front, but this was refused. Henry Whaling asked to not be 
blindfolded, saying he wished to look the man in the face that 
shot him, and show them how a Texan could die. This was also 
refused. The Mexicans stood close to their backs when they fired, 
and all fell to the ground. The bodies were then stripped and 
piled up like a cord of wood. The firing party then went back to 
the town. The Texans were all dead except J. L. Shepard. His 
wound was in the shoulder, although the muzzle of the Mexican's 
gun was in a few feet of him when discharged. He feigned 
death so well that he was stripped and stacked up with the bal- 
ance and escaped detection of having life. When the Mexicans 
left he went away into the mountains, but in ten days was re- 
taken and shot. The Mexicans discovered one was gone when 
they came to remove the bodies to the ditch which had been pre- 
pared for them, and scouts were sent out in all directions to hunt 
for him. 

After the execution of the Texans, the survivors, heavily 
ironed, were started on foot for the City of Mexico. It is im- 
possible to describe their sufferings. They were carried through 
the principal cities and towns on the route, driven like so many 
cattle, and half starved. They were derided, hooted at, and mal- 
treated all the way by the populace. The shackles on Big Foot 
Wallace were too small, and cut deep into the flesh. His arms 
swelled and turned black, and when they arrived at San Luis 
Potosi the Governor's wife came to look at the prisoners and 
noticed the condition of Wallace. Her woman's sympathies were 
at once aroused, and she ordered the chains taken off. The officer 
in command refused to do so, saying only the Governor had 
authority to give such an order. The woman replied that she was 
the Governor's wife, and ordered him again to take them off. 


This time he complied, and sent for a blacksmith, who removed 
them. The good woman then, with her own hands, bathed the 
swollen arms of Wallace with brandy. Seeing signs of suffering 
among other prisoners who had gathered around, she had the 
chains taken off of all of them. Before she did this, however, 
she asked the officer if he was afraid of his prisoners without 
chains on, to which he replied that he was not. Big Foot Wallace 
told her that she ought to be President of Mexico. 

On the march to the capital, after the chains were taken off, 
Wallace made good use of his long arms. The writer will say 
here that Captain Wallace had the longest arms of any man he 
ever saw outside of a show. He would reach and get cakes and 
tamales from stands as they passed them. The owners would 
make a great outcry, but the soldiers Avould laugh. Sometimes 
they would meet one carrying a tray or board of good things on 
his head. Wallace was so much taller than the Mexican that he 
could get a handful of things and the owner would be none the 
wiser. Big Foot, with his powerful frame and long arms, was a 
great curiosity to them. He could pass a cake stand and then 
reach back and get the articles off it. 

When they arrived at a little Indian village eighteen miles 
from the City of Mexico an order came from Santa Anna to shoot 
Capt. Ewing Cameron. This order was kept a secret from the 
balance of the prisoners for fear they would make a demonstra- 
tion. That night they put Cameron in a room alone under a 
separate guard. The balance of the prisoners were crowded to- 
gether in a small room, and they almost suffocated. They were 
suspicious, however, from the transaction in regard to Cameron 
that foul play was intended, and when they were all marched out 
on the following morning to a tank for the purpose of washing 
each Texan filled his bosom full of rocks, determined to fight for 
their captain and die with him if an attempt was made on his 
life. The guards asked them why they were getting the rocks, 
and were told that it was for ballast, so that they could walk bet- 
ter. They made no attempt to take them away — in fact they 
were afraid to, as they saw the Texans looked desperate. The 
march was again commenced early in the morning. The pris- 
oners asked about Cameron, and wanted to know if he was going 
to be shot. The Mexicans said no, and for them to go on and he 
would soon follow. When the prisoners got one mile from this 


place, on rising ground, the}^ heard a platoon of guns fire back at 
the village, and knew that the gallant Cameron had met his fate. 
It was a refinement of cruelty on the part of Santa Anna to have 
Cameron executed after he had drawn a white bean. He met his 
fate unflinchingly, and died as none but the brave can die. 

Before arriving at the capital the captives were again put in 
irons and convict garbs placed upon them. In this condition, 
and with grand display, they were marched into the historic city 
of the Montezumas. 

Before leaving San Antonio Wallace had some long shirts 
made which almost came down to his knees, and when his panta- 
loons wore out until there was but little left except the waistband, 
and before the convict garb was put upon him, some of the Mexi- 
cans along the route thought he was a priest, and called him 
"padre," and some would give him bread. 

While being conveyed up the streets of the capital the populace 
were unusually noisy — hooting, yelling, and offering many in- 
sults. One old woman ("squaw," Wallace called her) singled 
him out for her especial taunts and jeers. She was very ugly, 
bare headed, and had a long, grizzled neck. Her hair was loose, 
parted on the back of her neck, and hung down in front. She 
would come in front of him, walk backwards, grin, and make all 
kinds of wry faces at him. The shackled Texan was desperate 
and smarting with his chain, and would have struck her if he 
could, but his hands were chained together behind him. Watch- 
ing his chance, however, when her back was turned, he sprang 
forward and caught the back of her neck with his teeth, think- 
ing to bite a piece out, but the old woman squalled like a panther 
and jerked loose from him. Wallace says that was the toughest 
meat he ever tried to bite. He could make no impression on it, 
and his teeth slipped off and popped like a horse pulling his foot 
out of a bog. The soldiers laughed very heartily at this, ridiculed 
the old woman, and bravoed the tall "gringo" (name for Ameri- 

The British consul had a good deal to say about the killing of 
Cameron, and had a personal interview with Santa Anna in re- 
gard to it, condemning his action. 

It will be remembered by our readers that Texas was not one 
of the United States at this time, but was an independent Ee- 
public. The United States had nothing to do with protecting 


citizens of Texas, and the young Eepublic was not able to invade 
Mexico with an army and release her citizens. The Texas pris- 
oners arrived at the City of Mexico on the 1st day of May and 
remained there until the following October. During this time 
they were confined and closely guarded at night, and worked the 
streets in chains during the day. Part of their work was to carry 
sand in sacks to make a fine road up a hill to the bishop's palace, 
where President Santa Anna lived. The work was slow and 
tedious, walking the lock-step with chains around their ankles. 
Even at this, however, the Texans played off a good deal by 
punching holes in their sacks and letting the sand run out as they 
went along. Part of the time they worked at Molino del Eey, 
one and a half miles from the city, and here four prisoners made 
their escape- by scaling a wall. They were Samuel H. Walker, 
James C. Wilson, and one Thompson and Gratis. It was late in 
the evening, just before sundown, and all the prisoners had been 
brought in for the night and placed in different rooms, but all 
surrounded by a wall. Before the regular guard was put on for 
the night, which was always doubled, the four men above men- 
tioned scaled the wall while the sentinel's back was turned. 

The man Thompson had played off on the march and while at 
work by wrapping bloody rags, which he managed to secure in 
some way, around his feet and legs, and limping terribly and 
making many wry faces. The Mexicans let him ride all the way 
coming to the city. He would grimace and fall as soon as they 
put him on his feet. The men all knew there was nothing the 
matter with him, and thought it strange the Mexicans did not 
investigate his lameness. Wallace said that he would rather walk 
or work than to make the faces and contortions of body that 
Thompson went through. When the sentinel went into the room 
where he had left the prisoners a few seconds before and found it 
empty the truth flashed across his mind at once, and bringing 
the butt of his gun down on the floor with considerable force ex- 
claimed, "Caraja !" (Mexican oath). He, however, did not report 
the loss, through fear, and it was not found out until the follow- 
ing morning; then no one knew how it occurred. What most 
surprised the Mexicans was that the crippled man had got away 
— scaled a wall. The four Texans all made their way safely back 
to Texas. In October the prisoners were all sent to Perote, dis- 
tant about 300 miles from the capital. Here they were confined 


in a damp, loathsome dungeon. They had walked all the way 
there, but without chains on. The air was so foul in the dungeon 
that forty of them died. Wallace, with ten others, went wild and 
had to be tied down. All died but Wallace, and he was tied down 
fourteen days. The Mexican doctors who were in attendance 
had their assistants to rub Big Foot to keep up circulation. In 
doing so one of them rubbed a plaster off of his sore back, and 
he knocked the one who did it clear across the room. This was 
after reason had returned again. The sore was made on his back 
in his struggles when tied down on the stone floor of the dungeon. 
The writer has seen these scars, and also on his arms and ankles 
where the chains cut into the flesh. 

Seeing they would all die if too closely confined, they were car- 
ried out through the day to work. 

Many Mexicans came in to look at Wallace while he was crazy, 
to watch his actions, and hear him yell. One day after he had 
about recovered two young Mexican women of the upper or 
wealthy class desired to visit the prison and see the wild Texan. 
They made this known to the padre of the city, and he came with 
them to the prison. When they arrived at the entrance and the 
guards threw back the prison door, the dusky damsels drew back 
alarmed when they heard the clanking chains of the prisoners. 
The good father assured them, however, that there was no dan- 
ger; that trusty guards were at hand, and the "mucho grande 
loco Americano" was unusually docile. In the meantime some 
of the Texans who had seen the party enter, divining the import 
of the visit, informed Wallace of the fact. He was lying on a 
cot, but at once raised up to a sitting position with his feet on the 
floor and enveloped himself completely in a sheet except the eyes, 
and looked as much like a ghost as possible. When the party 
came in front of Wallace and the shy maidens were tremblingly 
viewing "el loco hombre" (the mad man), Wallace threw off his 
sheet, and uttering a yell that would have made a Comanche In- 
dian turn pale, sprang at them. With one long, wailing scream 
of terror the two Mexican girls sank to the floor, and Wallace 
caught one of them by the foot. Great excitement now prevailed. 
The guards rushed in and seized Wallace and tried to loosen his 
grip on the girl, but not being able to do so, dragged them both 
about over the cell in a vain endeavor to pull him loose. The girl 
still screamed, and Bia: Foot yelled and roared by turns. The 


Mexican soldiers cursed, and drawing their sabers said they 
would cut him loose. To add to the excitement, the prisoners 
were rattling their chains and with upraised manacled hands 
were threatening- to dash out the brains of the guards if they used 
their sabers on Wallace. The unfettered girl regained her feet, 
and went flying almost, out of the prison. The priest stood his 
ground, but called on all the saints he could think of to save 
them. Seeing the guards dare not use their sabers, he in sheer 
desperation threw himself upon Wallace himself, and then told 
the soldiers to pull. The strain was too great now when they did 
so, and he relaxed his grip. The girl sprang to her feet like a 
frightened deer, and with flying hair made a hasty exit, followed 
by the padre. 

As soon as Wallace was able he was put out to work with the 
balance. Sometimes they were hitched twenty-five to a cart and 
made to haul rock from the mountains down to town. During 
this time the Texans let three carts get away from them on the 
side of the mountain (accidentally, of course) , and they were 
smashed to pieces by running off a bluff. On one occasion they 
hitched Wallace to a cart alone to haul sand in town. A spirit of 
devilment came over him, and pretending to get scared at some- 
thing, he gave a loud snort and ran away. He ran against things 
and tore the cart all to pieces before he could be stopped. It was 
a funny sight to the Mexicans to see a man run away with a cart 
and could not be stopped- or headed off until it was demolished, 
and they gave way to loud peals of laughter. 

During this long confinement a man named Joe Davis, one of 
the old rangers of Jack Hays, conceived the idea of digging un- 
der the dungeon wall. It was five feet in thickness, and twenty- 
two feet to get under the foundation. There were twenty-seven 
confined in this apartment, and all agreed to the plan and went 
to work. They dug at night and hid the dirt as best they could. 
Some of the dirt was carried out in their clothing as they went 
to work on the streets in the daytime, and scattered gradually so 
as to escape detection. In this way they succeeded in digging 
under and out. This made a hole of forty-four feet. Twenty- 
four of the number succeeded in getting out, but the plot was 
discovered before the others could go. Only one man could travel 
at a time in the excavation. Wallace heard that all the prisoners 
were escaping in that room and hurried in there, but found it 


full of Mexican officers and soldiers, so hurried back to his own 
again. Four of those who got out were recaptured and brought 
back and chains put upon all of them again, which for a time 
had been taken off. They were compelled to work harder, and 
nearly starved. Many weary nights now passed away, and clank- 
ing chains could be heard at all hours of the night. Many rats 
invaded their prison den, and so near starved were the Texans 
that they were caught and eaten. The rats would come up the 
wall to a little cross-barred window where the sentinel stood, and 
going through would drop into the dungeon. When the sound 
of the rodent was heard hitting the floor chains would rattle all 
over the prison, as each man was on the alert to catch him. 

The captain in command here Avas a wooden-legged fellow with 
a long Spanish name which the Texans could not remember, and 
the more irreverant of them called him "Limpin' Jesus." He 
would come limping in with a great splutter of official dignity to 
inspect the prison, and one of the men drew a picture of him on 
the wall. This made him very angry, and he hacl it defaced. 

If all the minute particulars were written of the interesting 
incidents through which the captive Texans passed it would make 
a good-sized book. The main points have been given, and enough 
of minor details to give the reader a clear conception of the 

During all these tedious months of captivity friends in the 
United States were using their best endeavors to have the pris- 
oners liberated. Texas alone was not able to send an invading 
army into Mexico and strike the chains from her citizens, but did 
all she could in conjunction with others to have it done by the 
Mexican authorities. The wife of Santa Anna, who was an in- 
valid and a good woman, pleaded with the stern dictator for their 
release. He was greatly attached to her, and would grant almost 
anything she asked. 

".N"ot long after this four of the prisoners were released through 
the intervention of influential friends in the United States. 
These four were Big Foot Wallace, Thomas Tatum, James Arm- 
strong, and William F. Wilson. 

Thomas Tatum, who was a native of Tennessee, gained his 
liberty through the influence of Gen. Andrew Jackson. 

William F. Wilson, a native of Virginia, was released through 
the influence of Governor McDowell. 


The chains dropped from the manacled wrists of James Arm- 
strong through the good offices of Thomas Benton, of Missouri. 

Big Foot Wallace was liberated through his father and Gov- 
ernor McDowell of Virginia. Their plantations joined, and they 
were friends of long standing. 

On the 5th day of August, 1844, the four men in question 
walked out from the dark dungeon of Perote free men, after a 
confinement of twenty-two months, and on the same day the wife 
of Santa Anna died, loved and regretted by every Texan who 
wore the chains in Mexico. 

Soon after the death of the President's wife an order came for 
all the balance of the Texas prisoners to be released. Santa Anna 
had promised his wife on her deathbed that he would release 
them, and let it be said to his credit that once in life he kept his 

When Big Foot and his three companions once more breathed 
free air they set out on foot for Vera Cruz, having one dollar 
each, which was given them for expenses out of the country. 
From Vera Cruz they took shipping for New Orleans. 

Wallace at last found his way back to his old cabin on the Me- 
dina Eiver. He soon found out that he had neighbors. The Ger- 
mans were settling Castroville, ten miles above, having recently 
been brought there in a colony from Europe by Henry Castro. 

The balance of the life of Wallace can not be given in a sketch 
like this for the want of space, and can only be noticed briefly. 
Some of his Indian battles will be given more in detail in the 
sketch of Ed. Westfall, who w T as with him on several expeditions. 

After getting back to the Medina, Wallace spent his time in 
hunting and following Indians until the breaking out of the 
Mexican war of 1846. Part of this time he also served as a 
ranger again under Jack Hays. When the war broke out between 
the United States and Mexico on account of the boundary line of 
Texas, which had now become one of the Union of States, Jack 
Hays raised a regiment of rangers. Many of his old rangers were 
captains in this organization, among whom was Ad. Gillespie, 
Kit Ackland, Mike Chevalier, and Ben McCulloch. Samuel H. 
Walker, who figured in the Mier expedition, was lieutenant- 
colonel. Wallace joined the company of Gillespie and went out 
as second lieutenant. 

This regiment of Texas troops did good service in Mexico. 


Many of them had old scores to settle with the Mexicans. Only 
three years before some of them had drawn beans for their lives 
and worked on the streets in chains. Wallace recognized several 
places during the campaign where he had toiled along the dusty 
road in chains and nearly starved. He was in all of the fighting 
around Monterey, and in the desperate assault on the bishop's- 
palace, where his captain was killed. 

At the winding up of the battle, and while the bugles were 
sounding a parley and the Mexicans were surrendering, Wallace 
was seen to aim his gun at a Mexican who had a flag. Officers 
interfered and one of them said, "Lieutenant, don't you know a 
parky when you hear it sounded?*' Wallace said, "No; not when 
I am in front of that man." The Mexican in question was the 
one who held the fatal bean-pot when the Texans were drawing 
for their lives at Salado, and called up others to look at the big 
hand of Wallace, and in many ways tantalized the wretched man. 
Wallace now accosted him angrily, and asked him if he had any 
bean lottery here. "Look at that hand. Do you know it? Ever 
see it before ?" The Mexican said "No." "You have," said Wal- 
lace, "and called up others to look at it." The Mexican hung his- 
head and Wallace cursed him for all the low-down Mexican 
cowards in the calendar, and then let him go. 

During the storming of Monterey the Texas troops forced the 
upper part of the city and fought their way to the Hidalgo Hotel, 
and there made a halt. The Mexicans had all left except the^ 
cooks, and they were badly frightened when the Texans took pos- 
session and swarmed through the apartments looking for some- 
thing to eat. The men, however, told them they had nothing to 
fear, but they must cook them something to eat. This seemed to 
he out of the question, as all the provisions had been carried 
away. Some of the men now went in search of something, and' 
soon came back with thirteen sheep which they had found in a 
pen and killed. The cooks now went to work and soon had them 
well cooked, but there was no bread to eat with them. 

A dried-up little Mexican, who did not seem to think anyone 
would want to hurt him, was hanging around, and said that for a 
dollar he would bring them a blankctful of bread. Wallace- 
handed over the dollar and told him to skin out and get it. The 
Mexican soon returned with as much light bread as he could walk" 
under, tied up in a blanket. One of the Texans said he was- 


afraid to eat the bread, as it might be poisoned. Wallace said 
lie would soon see whether it was or not, and calling up the Mexi- 
can picked up a loaf that had some cracks in it and told the fel- 
low to sit down there and eat it. He refused to dp so at first, but 
Wallace cocked his revolver on him and he took the dry loaf and 
went to work. It was hard work, but he finally got it all down. 
Wallace then selected another loaf and told him to try that one. 
The Mexican rolled his eyes and made signs that he was choking 
to death. A quart of water was handed him to wash it down 
with, and the bread placed in his hand. He took it and went 
quickly to work on it, but soon choked, and Wallace handed him 
more water. The Mexican again hesitated after swallowing the 
water, but Big Foot encouraged him to proceed by pointing the 
pistol at his right eye. This loaf was finished, and the Mexican 
looked glad and even smiled at the pleasant little joke of Big 
Foot. His countenance changed, however, when Wallace handed 
him another loaf and motioned for him to proceed. Before tak- 
ing this loaf the Mexican made the cross and called on the saints. 
When he choked, Wallace would give him more water, and the 
Mexican would look in despair towards the pistol. When the 
third loaf was eaten, he was told to sit still awhile and see if it 
would kill him. As he did not show any signs of toppling over 
in two minutes, and the well cooked mutton was steaming hot be- 
fore them, the hungry Texans pitched in. 

While this dinner w T as being eaten, which was not oh the bill 
of fare of the Hidalgo Hotel that day, the cannons were booming 
and soldiers cheering in the lower part of town, where General 
Taylor was slowly carrying one street after another towards the 
center. The little Mexican sat and rubbed his stomach while the 
Texans were eating, and once exclaimed, "Yo sentir, yo comer, 
no mas por semano" (I could eat no more in a week) . When told 
he could go he went quickly. 

After General Taylor's battles were over in Northern Mexico 
part of the rangers were sent back to Texas to protect the fron- 
tier. Among these was Wallace, and when his term of enlistment 
was out he returned to his old cabin on the Medina. The Indians 
made a raid in the Medina valley in 1848 and carried off a great 
many horses. Wallace went after Westfall, who lived on the 
Leona, west of Wallace, and they raised about thirty men and 
followed the Indians. Their camp was found at the "Frio water- 


hole/' on the divide, and a battle ensued in which ten Indians 
were killed and some of the stock retaken. 

Wallace had fonr dogs which he prized very highly. Their 
names were Rock, Ring, Speck, and Bias. Rock was his Indian 
dog. Wallace could always tell by his actions when Indians were 
around, and if it was night would take his blanket and gun and 
the dogs and stay in a thicket near by until morning. The dogs 
would lie down by him without making any noise. On one occa- 
sion Rock gave the sign of Indians just before daylight, and Wal- 
lace took his gun and watched until dawn. He then hissed the 
dogs out to see if they could find the trail, and soon heard them 
baying loudly. Coming to the spot, he saw an Indian down in 
a gulley, and the dogs around him. He was keeping the dogs 
from taking hold of him by throwing his blanket over their 
heads. Wallace raised his gun to shoot, but seeing the Indian 
was not armed, desisted, and calling the dogs off, made signs for 
the Indian to come out. A search revealed no weapon but a small 
knife, and it was broken. The Indian now told Wallace in Span- 
ish that he had been a captive among other Indians, and had 
made his escape. Having no arms to kill game, he was nearly 
starved. He had broken his knife trying to open a terrapin. 
Wallace took him to his cabin, gave him all he could eat, and 
then, leaving his dogs to watch him, went and got his horse and 
carried the Indian to Castroville. This place by this time, about 
1849, was building up fast and had county officers. Wallace car- 
ried his Indian around over town for people to look at, and would 
occasionally take a drink of whisky, until he got pretty full. A 
county officer now came and said he would take charge of the In- 
dian. "No you won't," said Wallace. "This is my Indian; I 
caught him. If you want an Indian, go catch you an Indian." 
A large crowd had gathered around Big Foot and the Indian, 
and all laughed at the idea of the officer out trying to catch him 
an Indian. One of the party present that day and who heard 
Wallace say that is Mr. Chris Batot, of ITHanis. Soon after this 
episode Wallace carried' his Indian to San Antonio and turned 
him over to Major Neighbors, who was at that time Indian agent. 
About this time Wallace received a commission from Gov. P. H. 
Bell to raise a company of rangers. Ed. Westfall was his lieu- 

The hardest fight they had with the Indians during this term 





of service was at the Black Hills, near the present town of Co- 
tulla, in La Salle County. Wallace had nineteen men and de- 
feated them, killing twenty-two of their number of eighty or 
more. Wallace had several men badly wounded. 

After his time was out in this service he obtained a contract 
to drive the stage from San Antonio to El Paso. The distance 
was about GOO miles, and frontier all the way. He and his six 
guards had many encounters with Indians. Once on Devil's 
River five Indians were killed and two guards wounded. On 
another occasion the Indians attacked the stage at night, but were 
beaten off. In 1861, with forty settlers, he defeated a large party 
of Indians at the head of the Seco. 

The writer had the pleasure of spending several weeks with 
the old captain at the house of Mr. Doc Cochran, near Devine. 
I never tired of listening to him talk. He was an intelligent and 
educated man, and had read many books, but he loved the woods 


best of all. He never married. He said he was engaged once 
while living at Austin, in 1839, but had a severe spell of sickness 
and his hair all come out. He left town as soon as he was able, 
and went into a cave in the mountains and lived there until his 
hair grew out, but in the meantime his girl married another man. 
Her name was Mary Jackson. 

In October, 1898, the writer received a communication from 
Captain Wallace, that if I would come down and go with him 
and take care of him he would go to the Dallas fair and reunion 
of the old rangers. Accordingly I did so, and we had a fine time. 
Big Foot Wallace was as great a show as anything else on the 
grounds. All had heard of him, and wanted to talk to him and 
take him by the hand. 

We got back about the 20th of October, and I bade him fare- 
well at the home of Mr. Cochran and family, with whom he 
lived. That was the last time I ever saw him. Shortly after 
Christmas he took something like pneumonia, and on the 7th 
day of January he died, in his eighty-third year. He never wore 
spectacles, and could read any kind of print up to almost the day 
of his death. He never lost a tooth, but wore them off smooth to 
his gums. His remains were buried in the Devine graveyard, in 
Medina County, but did not rest there long. During a session 
of the Legislature shortly after a bill was introduced by Capt. E. 
R. Tarver, of Laredo, to have his remains taken up and deposited 
in the State cemetery at Austin. In the city he helped to build, 
and in which he dug the first well and ran the last herd of buffalo 
through town that ever made a track there, he lies, the last of the 
great ranger captains. 




Born in Texas in 1838. 

The lady whose name appears at the heading of this article is 
one of the true heroines of the west. She was born in Mont- 
gomery Comity, Texas, April 6, 1838, and was the daughter of 
Capt. William Ware, who commanded a company at the battle 
of San Jacinto. From Montgomery County she moved with her 
parents and family to Kaufman County, Texas, and from there 
to the Cibolo Creek, near the line of Bexar County. The next 
move from this place was the Sabinal Canyon, in 1852. Captain 
Ware was the first settler in the canyon, but he came at first 
without his family to look out a location in the west, and re- 
mained some time before returning for them. In the meantime 
Gideon Thompson came with his family, and his wife and chil- 
dren were the first white family to enter the lovely valley. 
Shortly after the arrival of the Ware family there came a young 
man named Robert Kinchaloe, whom Sarah J. Ware afterwards 

Mr. Kinchaloe was a hardy frontiersman and Indian fighter, 
serving for a time as a ranger under Capt. H. E. McCulloch. 
They were stationed at the forks of the North and South Llano, 
where Junction City now is. 

Mrs. Kinchaloe has passed through all of the horrors of a fron- 
tier life, and bears the scars of eleven wounds on her body in- 
flicted by the hands of hostile Indians. She saw the bloody body 
of John Davenport after he was killed by Indians and then car- 
ried by friends to his home on Rancheros Creek. Mr. Davenport 
was killed on the spot where Sabinal station now is, and his ranch 
was a few miles east. She remembers how frightful his head 
looked where the scalp was taken off. The same Indians killed 
John Bowles on the Sabinal River, below where the station now 
is. Mr. Bowles had prior to that time killed three Indians one 
night near his ranch. 

In 1866 Mr. Kinchaloe was living on Little Creek, three miles 
northeast from the present village of Utopia. His family at that 
time consisted of his wife and four children. The oldest was 8 


years old and the youngest 8 months. Up to this time the In- 
dians had killed but two people in the canyon, but others had 
been killed in the near vicinity. There was also at this time a 
man named Bowlin living near Mr. Kinchaloe. On the morning 
of the fearful frontier episode now to be narrated Mr. Kinchaloe, 
in company with Mr. Bowlin, went up the canyon about twelve 
miles to gather some corn which they had bought from a man 
who had moved away. During the absence of the two men Mrs. 
Bowlin and her family came to spend the night at the Ivinchaloe 
ranch, as the husbands were not expected back until next day. 
That night the wily Indians were prowling about the premises 
and the dogs barked at them all night, and just before day some 
one entered the house. Mrs. Kinchaloe thought it was a Mexican 
herder whom Mr. Kinchaloe had in his employ, and who lived 
in his camp not far away. Getting up, she secured a gun, and 
told him if he did not leave she would kill him. The person then 
ran out, and was pursued by the dogs so closely that he took 
refuge from them on top of the smokehouse. Mrs. Bowlin was 
very much frightened, said she knew the Indians would kill her, 
and said her mother told Mr. Bowlin when they were preparing 
to move out west on the frontier that he was bringing her 
daughter out here to be killed by Indians. The next morning, 
Sunday, October 11, 1866, Mrs. Bowlin went back to her house 
to see about things, and on her return told Mrs. Kinchaloe that 
the Mexican herder was there and was tearing up the place, and 
that she believed he was a white man, as he was changed. Mrs. 
Kinchaloe, who was a fearless woman, at once returned with Mrs. 
Bowlin to see about the herder, and sure enough, when they ar- 
rived he was seen to be as white as any man. He was surly, and 
would neither speak to nor look at them. He was afraid of Mrs. 
Kinchaloe when she had a gun. The two women now returned to 
the Kinchaloe place, and soon after arriving there saw two Kiek- 
apoo Indians running after one of Mr. Kinchaloe's horses, which 
they finally roped. They now came galloping towards the house. 
Johnnie Kinchaloe, 6 years old, who was standing watching them 
as they came towards the house, said to his mother, "They are 
not white men ; see how they throw their legs about." When the 
Indians got to the house they opened the gate and rode into the 
yard as unconcerned as if they were at home. The cowardly 
scoundrels knew none but women and children were there. The 


woman now closed the door, and Mrs. Kinchaloe got the gun and 
presented it as if about to fire, when the Indians ran around the 
house, pursued by the dogs. Johnnie now wanted to take the gun, 
but his mother would not let him have it. Poor Mrs. Bowlin was 
so badly seared she could hardly move, but her two daughters, 
El] a and Anna, dressed themselves in men's clothing and cursed 
the Indians, thinking they could frighten them away. Mrs. 
Kinchaloe told them to hush, as she could not stand that. The 
heroic woman, with the fighting blood of the Wares now up, put 
on a bold front and aimed the gun again at the Indians, who had 
returned to the front of the house. Her attempt to fire failed, 
for the gun snapped. At this the savages cried out, "No buena" 
(not good), and dismounting from their horses again went to the 
rear of the house. This frontier dwelling, where no lumber could 
be had, was a long picket house, and the space between the up- 
right pickets was open. There were two doors, but one of them 
had no shutter and was partly nailed up, leaving a large opening. 
One of the Indians now shot Mrs. Kinchaloe with an arrow 
through this half-closed door, and the other one lanced her 
through a crack between the pickets. The brave woman, how- 
ever, continued at her post and vainly endeavored to fire the gun. 
The weapon in question was a Spencer carbine, with a magazine 
in the breech containing the cartridges, which were thrown into 
the barrel with a lever. This Mrs. Kinchaloe did not know how 
to work, as it was a gun she was not familiar with, and therefore 
was unable to discharge it. She attempted to fire it as she would 
a common rifle, by pulling the hammer back and pressing the 
trigger. If an old-time shotgun or rifle had been in her hands 
she would have won the battle, but, still unable to shoot and cov- 
ered with wounds and blood, she stood between the savages and 
her children, receiving the lance thrusts from the cowardly Kick- 
apoos with a fortitude and heroism that would have done honor 
to a veteran soldier of an hundred battlefields. 

While this terrible scene was being enacted the children all 
went under the bed except the baby. At last, covered with 
wounds and almost exhausted from loss of blood, Mrs. Kinchaloe 
handed the gun to Mrs. Bowlin, and told her to keep the Indians 
back if she could and not let them carry off the children. As for 
herself, she said she would not live five minutes longer, and sank 
down upon the floor. When the Indians saw this fearless pioneer 


woman fall they came into the house, one at each door, and stood 
near the fireplace, facing the helpless woman who now had the 
gun and was standing motionless in the center of the room gazing 
upon their hideous faces without making any effort at resistance. 
In this position they raised their bows and shot Mrs. Bowlin 
through the heart with two arrows. While she was falling to the 
floor one of the Indians took the gun from her hand and placed 
it in the quiver at his back. When Mrs. Bowlin sank down to 
the floor her two small children ran to her and commenced cry- 
ing. She told them their mother was gone, and immediately ex- 
pired. Mrs. Kinchaloe now exclaimed, "0, my God, the time 
has come now for me to die." She was lying in pools of blood 
upon the floor, well nigh exhausted. The Indians did not tarry 
long. They had consumed so much time in the fight with Mrs. 
Kinchaloe that they feared some settler might ride up. They 
made no further attempt to kill anyone, but hastily secured such 
things as they fancied, mounted their horses, and rode away, tak- 
ing the one they had roped with them. They also took the trunks 
out into the yard, broke them open, pillaged the contents, tied up 
the articles in sheets, and carried them away. 

Little Johnnie Kinchaloe now came to where his mother lay 
beside the dead body of Mrs. Bowlin, and said he must go and 
tell some one to come or she would bleed to death. She told him 
no, that the Indians might get him ; but to pull the arrows out 
of her, especially the one in the shoulder, which was very pain- 
ful. This the gallant little fellow did, and then brought camphor 
for his mother to drink, which revived her some. He then, in 
company with Anna Bowlin, left the house to give the alarm. 
Two more of the Kinchaloe children, Betty and Charley, now 
came out from under the bed crying, and asked their mother if 
she would live. She told the weeping children that she did not 
know, but there was little hope. Betty, 4 years old, said, 
"Mamma, will you go to the good man if you die?" "I hope so," 
was the reply. Betty then turned to Mollie Bowlin, who was 
sitting by the dead body of her mother, and said, "I know my 
mamma will go to the good man if she dies." 

The nearest neighbor except the Bowlin place was Mr. Snow, 
two and a half miles distant, over on the Sabinal Eiver, and 
thither the two children wended their way, the tall grass coming 
up almost to the top of little Johnnie Kinchaloe's head. The 


family were eating dinner in company with several neighbors 
when the two young messengers bearing the sad' news of savage 
barbarity arrived and told it. The neighbors present at Mr. 
Snow's house were Messrs. Wish, Alexander, James O'Bryant, 
and Jack Dillion. One of them remarked as they arose from the 
table, "Now our troubles have commenced." The two last named 
men at once mounted their horses and rode to the scene of the 
tragedy. The little children were greatly rejoiced to see them. 
When they came into the house Jack Dillion said, "Here is Mrs. 
Bowlin, dead; let's take her up and take care of her." O'Bryant 
said, "No ; here lies Mrs. Kinchaloe nearly dead. Let's take care 
of the living first, and then the dead." Mrs. Kinchaloe had be- 
come very cold, and they wrapped her up in a blanket and laid 
her on the bed. The news was soon carried to other settlers, and 
great excitement prevailed in the canyon. 

On that day the Eev. John L. Harper was preaching at the 
house of John C. Ware, brother of Mrs. Kinchaloe. The news 
was rapidly carried to this place by Mr. Wilson 'Bryant, who 
had arrived upon the scene. It was on the river about three miles 
distant, and the old homestead of Capt. Wm. Ware, who died 
soon after settling there. This was a short distance below the 
present Utopia, and was known as Waresville. When the messen- 
ger arrived the men present at the service ran for their horses 
and guns. John Ware was the first one on his horse, and calling 
out, "Gentlemen, I am ready," galloped off, followed by the men 
as fast as they could mount. Among those s who went to the 
scene of the killing were Rev. Harper, Mr. Simpson, B. F. Biggs, 
and Judge James McCormick. Mr. Ware came to the bedside as 
he thought of his dying sister, and weeping bitterly asked about 
her wounds. "I am shot all to pieces," she said. "My God !" 
said the brother. "0, that I could have been here to have saved 
you." The wounded woman told her brother not to weep ; that 
she now believed she would get well. The country was thinly 
settled, and most of the people soon got there. Jake O'Bryant 
went after Mrs. Bin ion, the only doctor in the country, and made 
a most remarkably quick trip. The good woman doctor said she 
could revive and restore Mrs. Kinchaloe. Gideon Thompson and 
James Snow went after Mr. Kinchaloe and Mr. Bowlin, who at 
once mounted their horses and set out. The latter seemed dazed 
and almost paralyzed by the news. He knew that his wife was 


dead and that he could not succor her. With Mr. Kinchaloe it 
was different; his wife still lived. He rode furiously, urging his 
horse to his utmost speed, leaving his companion in distress far 
behind. Mrs. Thompson said when he passed their house he 
looked like a dead man, and on arriving home fell fainting at 
the door. After being revived he looked at his blood-covered wife 
and fainted again. He soon rallied again, however, and com- 
posing himself went to the bedside and promised her that as soon 
as she got well he would leave the frontier. The plucky woman 
told him no ; she did not want to leave. On raising Mrs. Kinch- 
aloe to dress the wounds where she had been deeply lanced in the 
body her sister, Mrs. Fenley, said, "She is bound to die." Some 
one said, "No she won't; she is a Ware, and you can not kill a 

Who can describe the feelings of Mr. Bowlin when he arrived 
and stood by with his motherless children clinging around him ? 
The body of his wife was buried near Wares ville. Mrs. Kincha- 
loe was carried to the house of her brother, and after many days 
of suffering she recovered, with the scars of a dozen or more ar- 
row and lance wounds on her body, one of which was a dangerous 
one in the neck. Although diligent search was made for the 
Indians they could not be found, and the sheep herder had also 
disappeared. No doubt he was in with the Indians and wanted 
to get a sum of money which Mr. Kinchaloe was supposed to 
have in the house from' the sale of his wool. But he did not get 
it, the money being in San Antonio. 

Mrs. Kinchaloe still survives at this writing, midnight, Jan- 
uary' 1, 1899, for the writer hears the bell at the church ringing 
in the new year. Part of this article was written in 1898 and 
the balance in the new year of 1899. The remark that Mrs. 
Kinchaloe would not die, — that you could not kill a Ware, — re- 
minds the writer of some desperate wounds that others of this 
connection recovered from. William Ware, Jr., her nephew, on 
one occasion dropped a pistol from his hip pocket at the home of 
his father, John C. Ware, and it fell with the muzzle up, the 
hammer striking the floor with such force that it fired, the ball 
striking Ware in the lower part of the body and ranging up, 
going clear through and coming out in the right breast, pene- 
trating the lung in its passage, and from this wound he recovered 
and still lives in the canvon. Last fall Mrs. Kinchaloe's son 


Richard, while running a cow, was thrown from his horse and 
sustained such injuries about the head that he lay unconscious 
thirty days, without speaking, food being given him in a liquid 
state mostly by injection. Drs. Meer and Bowman were his 
physicians during the time, and kept sacks full of ice around 
him constantly. Twice he was pronounced dead, and one time 
the account of his death was written for the Galveston News by 
the writer of this, who was four miles away on his farm when 
the news of Kichard's death was brought to him. The account 
was then written, and sent to the postoffice by Trueman Hill, 
who lost in on the way and it failed to be sent. Finally the 
doctors decided to take out part of the skull and relieve the brain 
on one side and see what effect it would have. The consequence 
was that he was soon able to be about. The portion of the skull 
cut out was placed carefully and scientifically back, and soon 
adhered and healed up. 

Mrs. Kinchaloe now keeps the Utopia Hotel. 



Came to Texas in 1843. 

Mr. Niehahis Haby, one of the pioneers of Castro's colony, 
was born in Alsace, Germany, in 1821, and started to Texas in 
company with his brother Joe and many other colonists in Sep- 
tember, 1843. The ship in which they came was very old and 
came slowly, consuming 121 clays in the passage from Europe 
to Galveston, Texas. The weather was good, and no accident 
happened on the trip. From Galveston they came to Port La- 
vaca, and there disembarked and made preparations for the long 
trip by land to San Antonio. Port Lavaca at that time consisted 
only of a few small houses. All of the colonists who came on 
the ship at that time with Mr. Haby are dead except his brother 
Joe and Mrs. Steinly, who now (1898) lives in Castroville. 

Six wagon loads of the colonists came on to San Antonio and 
stayed about four months there, while Mr. Castro was getting 
ready to move his people to his grant of land west of the Medina 
Eiver. When everything was ready the start was made, Castro 
himself taking the lead with his family in a buggy. Of this 
party also was Charles De Montel. The people enjoyed the 
beautiful scenery and herds of deer they saw while en route. 
The country was open then, and many miles of prairie could 
be seen covered with grass, and dotted about over this, some far 
and some near, were the herds of deer and wild horses, the lat- 
ter called mustangs. Along the timbered streams were droves 
of wild turkeys. After the people became somewhat settled Mr. 
Haby became quite a hunter, and in one year killed more than 
200 deer, ten bears, and some panthers. Mr. Castro, having his 
family with him and keeping house, paid Mr. Haby many dol- 
lars for venison and other wild meats, as he did not hunt any 
himself. Deer skins were very cheap, worth only 12^ cents apiece. 
Mr. Montel killed a great many deer. He had a fine rifle and 
was a good shot. At this time the famous pioneer Big Foot Wal- 
lace lived alone on the Medina Piver, ten miles below the Castro 
colony, and often came up to Castroville to spend a few days or 
hour-, as the case might be, with his new neighbors. Mr. Haby 


says he saw him many times, and that he was as fine a marks- 
man with a rifle as he ever saw. One day when Mr. Haby was 
out hunting he saw Capt. Jack Hays and twelve of his men 
out scouting for hostile Indians, who had began to prey upon 
the stock of the newly-arrived German settlers. Some of the 
Indians at this time were friendly, and often came into Castro- 
ville to sell turkeys and deer hams. They would also run horse 
races and show the whites how well they could ride, performing 
some brilliant but daring and dangerous feats of horsemanship. 
These were mostly Lipans, but sometimes the Comanches and 
Ivickapoos would come in, especially when a new treaty was to 
be made with them. Mr. Haby says one reason the Indians be- 
came hostile was that they did not want to work, but loved to 
steal horses and kill white people when they got a good chance, 
and the settlers wanted them to leave the country. 

Early in 1846 Mr. Haby went back to Germany after his 
father and brothers and sisters. His mother had died in 1843. 
His brothers were George, Jacob, Ambrose, and Andrew. There 
were two sisters, Mary and Margarette. On the way back to 
Europe the ship in which Mr. Haby sailed encountered a ter- 
rible storm which she could make no headway against, and was 
driven backward twenty-five miles. The only accident was to 
the kitchen, which was completely demolished. The weather 
was good coming back, and they again landed at Galveston and 
then came on to San Antonio, and from there to Castroville. 

When the Indians became hostile Capt. John Conner raised a 
company of rangers and was stationed at Castroville for the pro- 
tection of the people. The Habys were good frontiersmen and 
were not afraid of Indians. They were called by some the "fight- 
ing Habys. " 

In the winter of 1846, after the Comanches had again raised 
the tomahawk and unsheathed the scalping-knife, M. F. H. 
Golled, Joe Jonnes, Vincent Jonnes, and a boy 12 years old 
named Joe Bassiel, went up the 'Medina above Castroville to open 
up a farm. The first night in camp they were attacked by In- 
dians and all killed. They went to sleep by their fire, leaving 
their guns stacked against a tree several yards away. The 
bodies lay where they were killed four days, and were then dis- 
covered by Mr. Mchahis Haby, who was out hunting. He first 
saw the ffims of the murdered men standing against a tree, and 

NICHA L US HA B ) '. <J<) 

thinking likely it was a camp of Indians, crept upon them very 
c-autionsly until he learned the situation. The mutilated re- 
mains of the three unfortunate men and the boy were covered 
with snow and ice. It was in December, and near Christmas. 
Mr. Haby only saw three of the bodies at this time — the boy and 
the two Jonnes brothers. Next day, when a party returned to 
the spot led by Mr. Haby, the body of Mr. Golled was found 
about 150 yards from the others. Mr. Golled, it seemed, had 
waked up when the onslaught was made and ran and fought 
them, ' breaking two lances in the fearful struggle. He was 
wounded in the back, and also in the hands, where he had 
grasped the lance points. Joe Jonnes, 17 years of age, had a 
lance wound in the neck which went downward and came out 
through the thigh. Vincent had several lance wounds through 
the body. Evidently he had turned quickly when the first lance 
thrust was made and broke the weapon, as part of it was still in 
the body. The boy, it seems, was held down, his breast cut 
open, and his heart pulled out and left hanging by his side. 
These three were killed on their pallets near the fire. Two of 
the bodies were placed in the same coffin and carried to Castro- 
ville, but were then placed in separate graves. When the coffins 
were made only three of the bodies had been found. 

During the progress of the Mexican war of 1846 Mr. Haby en- 
listed in company D, Texas mounted volunteers, commanded by 
Captain Veach, and at once went to Mexico and did service until 
the war was over. After his return from Mexico the Habys 
settled on the Medina Eiver, several miles above Castroville, and 
commenced farming, stock raising, and fighting Indians. Mr. 
Nic. Haby settled on the west bank of the river on a high bluff 
overlooking the surrounding country. Here he had many ad- 
ventures with the Indians, but held his ground, still lives there, 
and gave the writer a cordial welcome when calling upon him 
for an interview. It was at this place that Mr. Haby killed one 
Indian that he caught stealing. It was in 1870, when the hostile 
Indians made their last raid on the Haby settlement. They 
made their first appearance below Mr. Nic. Haby's place and 
stole horses from his brothers Joe, Ambrose, and Andrew, and 
also from another settler named Monier. They then went to 
Mr. Wilmer's, who was a freighter, and stole his mules. Andrew 
Haby came up to his brother Nic's about midnight and told him 


of the horses being stolen, and for him to look out for his, and 
then returned home to protect and guard his family. Mc Haby 
had two horses loose in a small pasture of about eight acres on 
the north side of the house, and had trained them to come to- 
him when he whistled. So after the departure of his brother 
he went out and gave the peculiar call and they at once came,, 
and were tied up to a little log house in the yard. Mr. Haby 
then got his shotgun, which was well charged with buckshot, and 
went to a large liveoak tree standing near the pasture fence on 
the north side of the house, and distant fifty yards from where 
the horses were tied. The moon was shining brightly, and Mr. 
Haby sat down in the shadow of the tree with his back against 
it, facing west. The pasture fence ran north and south, and 
thirteen paces in front of Mr. Haby was the west line, which ran 
close to the house and only a few yards from where the horses 
were tied. With his shotgun across his lap and finger on the 
trigger the old pioneer watched and waited, knowing that the 
Indians would have to pass near him to get his horses. The 
fence was made of rails, and was what is called a straight fence. 
Two pickets were placed in the ground close together and op- 
posite each other, at regular distances apart, and then a short 
piece of plank or board was nailed to each at the top to hold 
them from spreading when the rails were filled in. When the 
panels were filled in to the proper height a rail was then elevated 
on top of the cross board, leaving a space of a foot or more 
between this rider and the next rail in the panel. 

After several hours of patient waiting the horses began to 
snort and move about uneasily and look north up the pasture 
fence. Mr. Haby knew the Indians were near, and cocked his 
gun. The horses commenced to rear and to make frantic efforts 
to break loose and get away. Mr. Haby at the same time saw 
the Indians in the bright moonlight coming in a trot, stooped 
over, and close to the fence on the outside, and making direct for 
the terrified horses. Before reaching the horses they would have 
to pass Mr. Haby. By the time he got his gun in position to 
shoot the foremost Indian was opposite him, but suddenly 
stopped and looked over the fence towards where Mr. Haby was 
bringing his gun into position to shoot. The Indian was look- 
ing between the top rail and the rider, which was about his 
height. At this time, and taking place quicker than it can be 


told, the shotgun was fired and the Indian fell. Mr. Haby 
turned his gun quickly to fire at the other two, but they were 
gone, — vanished like a vision of the night. Mr. Haby remained 
for a short time in his position, listening and waiting, and watch- 
ing the spot where he saw the Indian fall, but no sign or move 
came from there, so he ventured to the spot or fence and looked 
over, keeping his gun in position, ready to shoot at a moment's 
warning. The Indian was lying prone and motionless. Being 
satisfied he had killed him, Haby went to the house, got a pair 
of blankets, returned and spread them on the ground opposite 
the Indian, only the fence intervening between them. Then he 
lay down there and spent the balance of the night watching, 
thinking the other Indians would come back to see about their 
companion and he would get another one of them. They did 
not come, however, and when daylight came Mr. Haby crossed 
the fence and examined the dead hostile. Eight buckshot had 
struck him in the face and forehead, and two had struck him 
in the mouth, knocking out nearly all of his teeth. The Indian 
had fallen on his gun, a long flintlock rifle, and it was at full 
cock. It is evident that the Indian had discovered Mr. Haby 
and cocked his gun, but was uncertain what it was he saw, and 
before he could determine, the buckshot came and he was ush- 
ered quickly into the happy hunting grounds. He had on a 
shotpouch and a fancy powderhorn. He also had a bow and 
quiver of arrows at his back. A knife, rope, and blanket was 
around his waist. He was about 6 feet in height, strong, well 
made, and seemed to be about 25 years of age. His hair came 
nearly to the waist, thick and black. The news of the dead In- 
dian at Xic. Haby's soon spread through the settlement, and 
many came to look at him. 

There was an old gentleman stopping with Mr. Haby who had 
at one time lived in this settlement aud had a horse stolen by 
the Indians, and in the pursuit which followed the horse was 
found dead on the trail and his entrails cut out. The old man 
was very mad, and said if he ever saw a dead Indian he was .<?oing 
to cut his entrails out ; and as he was standing by the body on 
the morning after the killing he suddenly jerked out his knife 
and ripped it open. There was another man present who said 
he would like to have the hair of the Indian, but did not like to 
take it off. There was a boy also in the crowd named Frank 


Haby, who had a sharp knife, and he proposed to cut it off for 
the man. This he did very neatly, close to the skull, but with- 
out cutting the skin, and presented the fine long hair to the man 
who wanted it. The distance from the oak tree to where the In- 
dian lay was thirteen steps, and the writer sat at the root of the 
tree and took the notes from which this sketch was written. 
Mr. Haby also showed the writer the powderhorn, which was 
beautifully carved and finished. He does not know what became 
of the gun ; he kept it and used it many years, and finally some 
one carried it away. The body of the Indian was dragged about 
200 yards from the house and left for the hogs to eat. Mrs. 
Haby would eat no hog meat for several years after. In 
about eight days the Indians came back to see what became of 
their companion, but were afraid to come close to the house. 
Their tracks were seen in the field and the dogs barked all night. 
It is likely that they found fragments of the body and were sat- 
isfied as to his fate. Mr. Haby says the Indian was a Kickapoo. 
The boy Frank Haby, who cut off the Indian's hair, is now a 
well-to-do stockman, and one of Bandera County^s most rehable 
citizens. He lives on Seco Creek, near the Bandera road, about 
twelve miles from Utopia. 

Mr. Mchalus Haby draws a pension for services in the Mexi- 
can war, and exhibited to the writer a medal of which he is 
justly proud. The medal is bronze, heart-shaped, two and one- 
half inches in length by two inches in diameter. Between the 
medal and pin at the top is a thick piece of red, white, and blue 
cloth, which connects the medal and pin. The latter is for the 
purpose of fastening it on the front of the coat or vest in a parade 
or reunion of veterans. On the front side of the medal at the 
top is the cut of a ship, in the left hand corner on the right is a 
cannon unlimbered, as if ready for action. Between these are 
two guns crossed near the muzzles, one with and one without a 
bayonet. A sword then crosses both, and a large pistol is between 
the butts of the guns at the bottom. Below the guns is the name 
Mexico, and then comes a prickly pear and maguay plant. Be- 
low this is an old fort, and under it the date 1846. This is en- 
circled by a wreath, with the name of Scott at the bottom. To 
the left and right of this name is that of Perry and Taylor, the 
whole then surrounded by stars. On the margin around the 
medal in raised letters are following names of battles : Tobasco, 


Vera Cruz, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Cherubusco, 
Chapultepec. On the pin at the top is the following : "Patented 
March 7th, 1876/' Below this is "National Association of Vet- 
erans/' On the under side of the medal is the following : "Nich- 
las Habv, 3STinth Texas Cavalry." 




Came to Texas in 1843. 

Henry Castro was born in France in July, 1786, of rich par- 
ents, and descended from one of the oldest Portuguese families, 
one of his ancestors, Zoas of Castro, having been the fourth vice- 
roy of the Indies for the king of Portugal. In 1805, at the age 
of 19, he was selected by the prefect of his department (Landes) 
to welcome the Emperor Napoleon on the occasion of his visit 
to that department. In 1806 he was one of the guard of honor 
that accompanied Napoleon to Spain. In 1814-, being an officer 
in the first legion of the National Guards of Paris, he fought 
with Marshal Moncey at the gate of Clichy. Having immigrated 
to the United States after the fall of Napoleon, in May, 1827, he 
was consul at the port of Providence for the king of Naples, hav- 
ing become an American citizen by choice the same year. He re- 
turned to France in 1838, was the partner of Mr. Lafitte, the 
banker, and took an active part in trying to negotiate a loan for 
the Repiiblic of Texas at Paris. Having received large grants 
of land under certain conditions of colonization, he immediately 
proceeded to comply with his contract, and after great expense 
and labor succeeded in bringing to this State 485 families and 
457 single men, in twenty-seven ships, from the year 1843 to 
1847. He died at Monterey, Mexico, while on his way to visit 
the graves of his relatives in France. — [Thrall's History of 



Came to Texas in 1843. 

One among the old-timers and Indian fighters of the West is 
A. J. Davenport, familiarly called Jack by his many friends. 
He has a fine farm and ranch near Sabinal Station, and a stock 
ranch in Little Blanco Canyon. It was at the latter place the 
writer found him busy salting cattle. Some of these old settlers 
are very modest and loath to tell their experience, saying they had 
done nothing worth recording. Their main business in the early 
days was to raise cattle and trail and fight Indians, and one was 
almost as commonplace as the other, and hence their view of the 
insignificance of Indian raids, etc. People, however, who have 
had no experience in such things take a different view altogether, 
and look upon one of these old pioneers as being above the ordi- 
nary. The time has passed now for men to gain any notoriety as 
Indian fighters, and when we look upon one of these men who 
has trailed and faced and fought the wild, painted Comanche, 
looked into his fierce, gleaming eyes, and heard his loud war- 
whoop: seen his matchless riding and lightning-like dexterity 
with the bow as he sent his barbed and feathered arrows cutting 
and hissing through the air, at the same time swinging from 
side to side of his horse to avoid also the white man's rapid shots 
from a revolver, — we stand before him and look at his gray locks 
and sun-tanned face with great respect, akin to awe. 

Mr. Davenport was born in Johnson County, Missouri, in 
1843, and came to Texas the same year with his father, John 
Davenport, and settled in Kaufman County. John Davenport 
was a soldier under General Jackson in the wars with the Creek 
Indians and the British war of 1812. 

The subject of this sketch came to the Sabinal Canyon in 1853. 
The following named men had already arrived and settled : 
William Ware, Gideon Thompson, Aaron Anglin, John and 
James Davenport, and Henry Robinson. His brother John was 
killed by the Indians near where Sabinal station is now, not 
long after Jack came to the canyon. His brother John, who 
at that time lived below the mountains, had gone early on the 




morning he was killed to Blanco Creek after a yoke of oxen, 
and was returning with them when attacked. Some Mexicans 
witnessed the fight, but were afraid to go to his assistance. They 
said that he shot two of the Indians with a sixshooter. When 
the Indians left the Mexicans went to Davenport, and he tried 
to talk to them but was not able to do so. He was badly shot 
and scalped, and soon died. When the news of his death reached 
the settlement his relatives came and carried the body to his home 
on Rancheros Creek and buried it. His young brother Jack 
said that if ever he had the opportunity he would take an In- 
dian scalp and get even on that line for that of his brother John. 
This retaliation was accomplished in later years while a Texas 
ranger under Captain Montel. 

The Indians who killed John Davenport were pursued by the 
settlers and a desperate battle fought with the*m. One of the 
Indians killed in the fight had been badly wounded by Daven- 
port in their fight with him. His sixshooter was also recovered. 


These same Indians also killed John Bowles lower down the 

In 1860 Judge Davenport sent word from his ranch for all the 
men who lived on Eancheros Creek that could, to meet him at 
the Kinchaloe prairie, near D'Hanis, in Medina County. The 
Indians, he said, were on a raid in large force, and were now 
going out towards the mountains with a large drove of horses. 
The men who responded to this call were Jack Davenport, Eoss 
Kennedy, John Kennedy, and Frank Hilburn, the latter a noted 
Indian fighter, who had already killed two Indians single- 
handed. When they arrived at the place designated they were 
joined by the Hondo settlers under the leadership of Big Foot 
Wallace. The trail of the Indians was soon taken up and went 
by the way of the Comanche waterhole, now a noted place for 
deer hunters to camp. From this place the trail went straight 
to the foot of the mountains and led up Big Seco Canyon. The 
Indians were overtaken at the head of the creek. The fight 
which followed has already been described, but each witness 
brings out new facts that were forgotten by others. Mr. Daven- 
port says that their party stopped and ate their dinner in plain 
view of the Indians, who lay in ambush and had tied a horse 
on the side of the mountain in view as a decoy to bring the 
white men up that way. Several impetuous young men went 
ahead to be first to get hold of the horse, and received the first 
fire of the Indians, which wounded Bill Davenport, son of Judge 
Davenport, and drove the balance back to the main force of 
thirty or more men. In front, when the advance up the hill was 
made, were Jack Davenport, Lewis McCombs, and Jasper Kineh- 
aloe. The Indians made their first fire with shotguns which 
they had taken from settlers killed in this raid. Firing down 
hill, they overshot the men in front and struck among those 
lower clown. The attack from the Indians, however, was so 
fierce that all retreated back to the foot of the mountain, where 
they tied their horses and acted on the defensive. During the 
fight an Indian sat on a black mule a long distance off, on top 
of a mountain, intently watching the combat. Eoss Kennedy, 
who had an Enfield rifle, said he could move him, and raising the 
sight of his gun took aim and fired. The Indian sat a few mo- 
ments after the gun fired, then all of a sudden the mule jumped 
nearly from under him, and soon got out of sight in the rocks 

A. J. DAVENPORT. 10<) 

and bushes. Evidently the mule was hit. After the fight six. 
shotguns were found on the mountain where the Indians left 
them, also the pistol of Murray, the assessor, who had been killed 
by them. The men went that night to Sabinal Canyon and next 
day followed the Indians again. There came up a terrible sleet, 
and the men spent the night about where Henry Taylor now 
lives. As before stated, they ambushed the Indians at Ranger 
Springs, and the whole plan was frustrated by Hilburn firing 
too soon. Jack Davenport says that Captain Wallace planned 
this ambush splendidly, and if order could have been kept, would 
have almost annihilated this band of red marauders. 

In this same year Huffman and Wolfe, two young stockmen 
who lived on Seco, came out west of the Sabinal River, below the 
mountains, to hunt stock. When they arrived at a point on the 
prairie about w T here the hay farm of Mr. Ed Kelley now is, they 
came upon a band of mounted Indians. It was a mile or more 
east to the river, where there was some protection along the banks 
and in the rocks and scrubby brush and scattered timber. To 
this point the two men turned their cow T ponies and made a des- 
perate run for life. The Indians came on in swift pursuit, yell- 
ing loudly. x\t this time, just across a swell in the prairie at a 
place called the "rock pile," William Davenport was on his way 
to Uvalde with a two-horse wagon, and saw the dust rising and 
heard Indians yelling ahead of him. The road he was traveling 
ran southwest, and the Indians were running the cowmen in a 
northeast or east direction, and hid from view as before stated 
by rising ground. Mr. Davenport knew T well what all this meant, 
and turning his horses around whipped them into a gallop and 
made his way back home at the Blue waterhole on the Sabinal 
river, at the mouth of the canyon. The distance w T as about three 
miles. Had the cowboys known that Davenport w r as over there 
and gone to him, the three might have stood off the Indians with 
the wagon for shelter. Xot knowing this, however, they kept 
straight for the river, firing at the Indians as they ran. The 
Comanches finally ran around and in the midst of the boys, and 
they dismounted at a liveoak tree, turned their horses loose, and 
fought desperately for their lives. The tree was stuck full of ar- 
rows. The boys finally made another run on foot towards the 
Sabinal, but likely both were wounded by this time, as the In- 
dians had circled the tree on their horses and shot arrows fronr 


all sides, as those sticking in the tree indicated. In this run 
they were soon surrounded and went down under numerous ar- 
row wounds, firing their last shots at close quarters on the open 
prairie. This spot is now just across the river from the home 
of Mrs. Nancy Kelley and her son Robert. This same band of 
Indians had the evening before killed the Mexican herder of Mr. 
Ross Kennedy, first stripping and then torturing and scalping 
him. Among the settlers who got together to pursue the Indians 
were Jack Davenport, William Knox, Ross Kennedy, John Ken- 
nedy, Dock Lee, Ambrose Crane, and Albin Rankin. Knox was 
chosen captain. They soon found the trail of the Indians and 
commenced the pursuit. When they arrived in the prairie where 
the old Uvalde road runs through the Kelley pasture the trail 
of the Indians abruptly turned east towards the river, and they 
knew from the signs of the torn-up earth that some one had been 
pursued by them, but who they could not tell. It was here the 
run was made on Huffman and Wolfe. Various articles were 
picked up such as cowmen carry to their saddles — cups, coffee- 
pots, wallets, etc. Out some distance from the river stood a live- 
oak tree in which the trailers noticed a large black object while 
yet some distance away. They rode straight for that now, and on 
coming to the spot discovered that the object in the tree was a 
dead Indian. He was closely wrapped in a blanket, his eyes were 
closed tightly with red paint, and his bow was hanging on a limb 
by his head. His body was astride a limb and lashed to another 
with a rope to keep it in an upright position. He had a bullet 
hole in his neck, in what is usually called the sticking place. 
The settlers had deviated from the trail by seeing the Indian in 
the tree, and did not at this time discover the bodies of the slain 
cowmen, which were lying in the grass about 150 yards away. 
The trail of the Indians from the tree led northwest across the 
prairie towards the mouth of Big Blanco Canyon, several miles 
distant. As yet the trailers had no idea who had fought the 
Indians or how they came out in the struggle. The trail was fol- 
lowed rapidly and the Indians overtaken before night in the 
canyon, at a place called the "sinks of the water." Here the 
Blanco River sinks and leaves the channel dry. The Indians 
had dismounted and evidently intended camping there. They 
were surprised by the sudden appearance and charge of the 
whites and ran into the cedar brakes, leaving their horses, which 


were all captured. Several shots were fired at the fleeing In- 
dians, but none were killed on the ground that could be found. 
It was near]y night, and there was not much time to look around 
after the skirmish was over. Among the horses were found Huff- 
man's mule, saddled and bridled, and his pistol hanging to the 
pommel of the saddle in the scabbard. One Indian tried to 
mount the mule, but lie was fired at and ran off on foot. Jack 
Davenport knew the mule as one owned by Huffman, and told 
the men he was satisfied it was him that had been chased by the 
Indians and had killed one, and was evidently slain himself. 
The horses of the Indians were gathered, and the men returned 
that night to the settlement on Rancheros Creek. The place 
where they encountered the Indians, called "the sinks," is just 
below where the ranch of Mr. Charles Peters now is. 

Xext morning the men all started out again to search for the 
body of Huffman, not knowing as yet that Wolfe was with him 
and had also been killed. When they arrived at the scene of the 
fight they soon discovered the tree sticking full of arrows where 
they first dismounted to fight. A short search around soon dis- 
covered the bodies, mutilated and full of arrows. How many 
Indians they hit or killed besides the one found they could not 
tell. Huffman's pistol was empty, and the Indians had put it 
back in the scabbard, which was fastened to the horn of the sad- 
die. Wolfe's pistol was not found. The bodies of the unfor- 
tunate young men were buried near where found, but were after- 
wards taken up and reinterrecl at D'Hanis. The Catholics took 
charge of the body of Huffman, as he had no relatives in this 

In 1861 Jack Davenport joined a company of rangers com- 
manded by Capt. Charles de Montel. They were stationed at 
Ranger Springs, on the Seco. While they were here the Indians 
made a raid below the mountains and were followed by settlers 
from below to the head of the salt marsh in Sabinal Canyon, 
about five miles west from the present village of Utopia. In 
the meantime a runner had been sent to the ranger camp, and a 
scout was sent out to intercept them. The rangers and settlers 
got together at the head of the salt marsh and continued the pur- 
suit. Among the rangers were Lieut. Ben Patton, commanding; 
Jack Davenport, Ed Taylor, Cud Adams, Demp Forrest, Dan 
Malone, Charley Cole, Jasper Kinehaloe, Lou Moore, and John 


Cook. The trail led in a northeast direction over a rough, moun- 
tainous country, towards the head of the Frio River. At length, 
arriving on a high mountain about three miles west of the pres- 
ent ranch of Mr. Sam Harper, in Sabinal Canyon, Lieutenant 
Patton discovered the Indians. They had camped in a valley, 
but on elevated ground, between two deep gullies, with a cedar 
brake in their rear. They were engaged in cooking horse meat, 
mending moccasins, etc. Without being seen by the Indians, 
Patton dismounted his men, left their horses, went down the 
mountain, and struck the creek about half a mile below the In- 
dian camp, and came up keeping well concealed, until they ap- 
proached the high banks of the gullies in less than fifty yards of 
the unsuspecting hostiles. Jack Davenport, having it on his 
mind to avenge his brother, kept his gun well in hand, and when 
the charge was ordered kept by the side of Lieutenant Patton, 
who led. The men went up the banks in various places and with 
great rapidity, and were almost among the Indians and firing 
upon them before they were aware of the presence of an enemy. 
The onset was so fierce and the firing so fast and fatal that the 
Indians made a. poor fight, and soon sought safety in the cedar 
brake near by. Davenport and Patton both fired their first shot 
at the same Indian, who fell near the fire. Another one fell 
fifty yards from the fire, and the third ran about 200 yards and 
fell. Many of the Indians were wounded but made their escape, 
leaving trails of blood behind them. One wounded Indian was 
found under the roots of a large cedar tree which had been blown 
down, and was pulled out and scalped alive by one of the white 
men. The Indian made a very wry face during the process of 
scalping, as if in much pain, and pointed towards the sky, as if 
threatening the man with the vengeance of God. In this fight 
John Cook shot twelve times at one Indian running, emptying 
two revolvers without bringing him down. Sometimes an In- 
dian can carry off almost as much lead as a California grizzly 
bear. When the fight was over Jack Davenport went to the In- 
dian whom he knew he had shot, and scalped him, saying as he 
did so that he was now even with them for his brother John. Be 
it said to his credit, however, his Indian was dead when he 
scalped him. 

During the civil war Mr. Davenport belonged to Colonel 
Duff's regiment, Thirty-third Texas, company F, commanded 

A . J . DA VENPOR T. 113 

by Captain Davis, from San Marcos, Hays County. He was in 
the fight at Powderhorn, where they fought the Union troops 
under General Ross. Was on picket duty, and saw the Union 
army land at Point Isabel. At the close of the war his com- 
mand was in Arkansas, and was there disbanded. 

Mr. Davenport is a successful stock raiser, and one of the 
solid citizens of Uvalde County, honored and respected by all 
who know him. 



Came to Texas in 1843. 

Mr. Joseph Conrads, who lives in Castroville, is one of the 
original pioneers of Medina County, and has many interesting 
things to tell of the long ago, when times were not what they 
are now. 

Mr. Conrads was born in Prussia, near Saar Eiver, in 1832. 
His father, Nicholas Conrads, with his family set sail for Amer- 
ica from Havre de Grace, France, in 1843. They came in the 
ship Obre as part of the colony of Henry Castro. They had a 
long, tedious trip of seventy-five days in crossing the ocean, and 
some of the passengers died at sea. The immigrants were all 
French except two families — Conrads and Wilkes. Many of 
them were really German, but all spoke French, being Alsatians. 
On New Year's day of 1843 the good ship landed at Galveston, 
and the tired and almost worn out colonists gladly set foot on 
Texas soil, although it was a strange and foreign country to 
them, thousands of miles from the place of their nativity. The 
elder Conrads started from Galveston with his family to Hous- 
ton, but turned back at San Felipe and stopped on Buffalo 
Bayou and died there. Peter, the eldest brother of Joseph, went 
back to Galveston and the family became scattered. However, 
finding that a good living could be made in Galveston, he came 
back and got the family together and returned there with them. 

In 1846 the family of Castro landed in Galveston direct from 
Europe, and the Conrads family came on out with them to Cas- 
troville, the future home of the colonists, part of whom had al- 
ready arrived under the leadership of Castro and commenced 
erecting rude shelters. The Indians at that time were friendly 
to the newcomers and furnished them all the wild game they 
wanted, very cheap. The Indians were the Lipan tribe. The 
colonists were not possessed of suitable firearms to kill game with, 
and greatly appreciated the bountiful supply of fat turkey and 
venison. The writer will say here that the Lipans were a branch 
of the Comanche tribe. Some time previous to the advent of the 
American pioneers into Texas there were two powerful rival 


chiefs among the Comanches, one of whom was named Lipan. 
This chief finally quit the tribe and wandered far away from 
them, but was followed by a band of his friends and admirers, 
and in time a new tribe was formed which took the name of 
their chief and waged a constant and bitter war against the old 
tribe, and many desperate and cruel battles were fought with 
alternate success for both parties. Two of the colonists, Young 
and Kingle, hunted with the Indians and helped to keep their 
friends in town from starving. Hostilities commenced with the 
Indians by the latter having some trouble with Americans who 
were moving to the west. The Indians stole their horses, and 
they killed some of the Indians. Some ex-Texas rangers also 
had trouble with the Lipans, in which one of the latter was 

On one occasion Messrs. Conrads, Gerhardt, and Ihnukers went 
out on a horse hunt and also to see if there were Indians about. 
They camped for noon at the Mustang waterhole on the Fran- 
cisco, and while there saw a band of Indians coming towards 
them. They at once ran away, leaving all of their things in 
camp. The chief of the party ran after them, and holding up 
a sack in which he had provisions told them to stop, "Indian no 
hurt." Seeing they could not easily get away, the three colo- 
nists stopped, and after some talk the Indians went on and the 
white men quickly returned home. These same Indians went 
on to the Quihi settlement and captured a woman and carried 
her way. (This was likely Mrs. Charobiny, who escaped from 
them on the same day she was captured.) 

Some of the people in those days made a living making boards 
and shingles out of the cypress which grew along the Medina 
River. They found a market for such things in San Antonio. 
This was the only chance for people living there to get anything 
except grass with which to cover their houses. The people in 
and around Oastroville lived on deer meat and corn meal. There 
were no cattle in the country at that time except as men would 
work in San Antonio, buy a cow with the money, and then bring 
her on out to the colony. In 1846-47 Mr. Conrads and his 
brother ran Mr. Castro's wagon to bring in colonists from Port 
Lavaca. The nearest place to get cornmeal was the Guadalupe 
River. One night when the Indians were hostile a Frenchman 
tied his horse to the bedpost to make sure of him until morning, 


but during the heavy hours of the night, while the Frenchman 
slumbered, a wily and very wideawake savage slipped up, cut 
the rope, and carried the horse away. 

In 1848 Mr. Conracls moved to San Antonio, which by this 
time was improving very fast. In 1849, however, he moved back 
to Castroville. People were coming in all the time, and that 
place was improving fast. Mr. Conrads says people enjoyed 
themselves then better than they do now. They did not have 
much, but appreciated all they could get and make. There were 
but few wagons among the settlers in those days. Some of the 
people carried corn on their backs to the mill after one was built 
nine miles below San Antonio, a distance of thirty-five miles from 
the colony. The people dressed in a different way compared to 
this time. Their everyday clothes were their Sunday clothes, 
too, and some people would be ashamed to wear such now. Mr. 
Conrads knew Capt. Jack Hays and Big Foot Wallace well, and 
says both were good Indian fighters and were a great help to the 

In 1852 Mr. Conrads and a party went out on a hunting ex- 
pedition, and ate their dinner one day near where Mr. H. Rothe 
now lives. During the time a severe sleet began to fall, and they 
came upon a trail of Indians, which they followed, and came upon 
them near night while they were eating supper near a cedar 
brake. The white men dismounted, crawled near them, and fired 
upon them. The Indians scattered into the brush and the whites 
took possession of their camp, and while picking up such things 
as they wanted they heard groans in the brake not far away. On 
investigating they found a wounded Indian, who had his leg 
broken, besides a wound in the shoulder. He had tried to kill 
himself by sticking an arrow in his heart. He soon died and 
was scalped, and a strap taken from his back. Afterwards other 
Indians were found dead in the brake. This was between the 
Yerde Creek and the Hondo, not far from the Peach Tree water- 
hole. The men who composed this party, besides Mr. Conrads, 
were Bob Harper, Tom Malone, William White, William Adams, 
Henry Adams, and the two Boones. There were some others, 
but their names are not remembered. 

In 1857, Peter, brother of Joseph Conrads, went out to hunt 
a cow, and on ascending a liveoak hill saw something run into 
the brush. Not thinking it was an Indian, he went in there and 


soon came upon a dead mare belonging to his brother. Going 
back and giving the alarm, live or six men went back, among 
whom was Joseph Conrads. They soon met another mare of 
Joseph's running with a buffalo lariat on. The Indians were near 
by, and hearing the whites talking ran away about 300 yards. 
The chief was soon discovered, and was seen to fire a pistol in 
the air. Some Mexicans were out hunting oxen, and part of 
this band of Indians were running them, and the chief fired 
the pistol to recall them to help fight the white men, whom he 
had now discovered. The Indians had some horses, and instead 
of stopping to fight they ran away and carried the horses with 
them. The white men ran the Indians to the Mustang prairie, 
firing at them all the way, which was returned by the Indians. 
Here Mr. Joseph Conrads dismounted to load his gun, and his 
horse, being frightened, got loose from him and ran away. The 
balance of the men soon stopped the horse, and Peter Conrads 
ran between the horse and the Indians and tried to cut off the 
balance of the horses which the Indians had in their possession. 
His firearms consisted only of a pistol. The Indians were now 
very near the settlers, and Joseph Conrads, as soon as he got his 
gun loaded, shot one Indian, who dismounted from his horse 
and sat down by a tree. The white men now retreated and the 
Indians followed them. One man who had a loaded gun tried to 
shoot, but at the same time his horse fell with him and his gun 
went off in the air. Joseph Conrads, having again reloaded his 
gun, stooped down so as to get a good shot at another Indian, 
but the fellow at whom he was about to fire, seeing his actions, 
got behind a mesquite tree. He had a squaw with him who was 
armed with a bow, and she shot several arrows at Conrads. The 
latter now determined to shoot her, as she was in plain view, but 
when he made the attempt he could not pull the hammer of his 
rifle down. The Indians soon after gave up the fight and went 
off. When Conrads made an examination of his gun to ascertain 
the cause of its failure to shoot, he discovered that he had not 
pulled the hammer far enough back, and only had it on the half- 

These same Indians killed two men at Black Hill, not far from 
where Benton City now is, and on their return to the mountains 
killed Wolfe and Huffman on the Sabinal. The Indians were 
followed by another party farther west and a scalp taken from 


them, which they supposed to be a woman's, but which proved 
to be that of Bilhartz, one of the men who was killed at Black 
Hill. He had long curly hair. The other man killed with him 
was named Jungman. 

On one occasion when Mr. Conrads went out to hunt a cow 
four miles from Castroville he saw some horses coming towards 
him, and soon discovered that they were being driven by In- 
dians. He hurriedly ran into the brush, left his horse, and came 
home on foot. The Indians did not see him and failed to find 
the mare, which he had abandoned so as to be better able to 
travel through the brush and cactus. A scout returned and 
found the animal with coat and leggings still on the saddle. The 
trail of the Indians was taken up, and the party soon came upon 
two men who had been killed by them. The men killed were 
old man Grace and his son. Their wagon was standing in the 
road loaded with pickets. This took place near where Idlewild 
is now, below La Coste station. Both of the men were shot in 
the left side with bullets. Between Elm Creek and Medina 
they killed a Mexican boy. The Indians were overtaken by an- 
other party and some of them killed. 

C : / S TR O'S DIAR V. PART I. 119 


In getting together material for a history of this famous col- 
ony of southwest Texas I have spared no pains in getting the 
most reliable information, and have been very successful in find- 
ing old documents and papers among some of the old settlers, 
who have carefully preserved them through all these years, and 
willingly gave me all the information they were possessed of. 
They are justly proud of their achievement here in the wilder- 
ness, and they and their descendants will read with interest their 

I am under many obligations to the citizens of Medina County 
for assistance in my work. Among these are Judge Herman E. 
Haas, of Hondo; Chris Batot, and the Kochs and Neys, of 
D'Hanis ; August Kempf, district clerk of Medina County ; Judge 
M. Charobiny, of New Fountain, and August Eothe, of the large 
ranch of the Eothe Brothers, on the Seco. 

At the time of the incipiency "of Henry Qastro's immigration 
scheme in Europe, Texas offered rare inducements to the thou- 
sands of sturdy men in the old countries who had to labor for a 
living to get cheap homes and better their condition in life. 
Texas was new, — had just emerged from under the misrule of 
Mexico, and had set up housekeeping for herself as a Eepublic. 
She had rich lands by the millions of acres to give away to those 
who sought homes within her borders. Energetic men went to 
work to bring in people from some of the old countries to help 
settle up these vast regions which stretched away towards the 
setting sun for many hundreds of miles, covered with rich 
grasses and cut through at almost regular intervals from San 
Antonio to the Eio Grande by clear, bold streams, as the Leon, 
Medio, Medina, Quihi, Verde, Hondo, Seco, Eanchero, Sabinal, 
Frio, Blanco, Leona, Nueces, Turkey, and so on. 

Many people from Europe and from the States of the Union 
who had no part in bringing colonists here wrote to friends and 
relatives about this grand country and induced many to come. 
Henry Castro was a man of extraordinary ability and perse- 
verance, or he could never have surmounted the many hindrances 


and obstacles which were thrown in his way for years before 
he could begin to see and taste any of the fruits of his labors. 

From extracts of memoirs of Henry Castro, which were pre- 
served by his son Lorenzo, we find that when General Henderson 
was in the city of Paris, France, to procure from Louis Philippe 
a recognition of the Republic of Texas, he visited the home of 
Henry Castro. 

Castro in his memoirs says: "The Prince of Peace (Godoy), 
whom I had known after he was exiled from Spain, occasionally 
visited me. After having risen from a private in the bodyguards 
of the king to prime minister of Spain, and after having received 
all favors the king was able to confer upon him, he was reduced 
to poverty, and was then living in Paris on the income of 5000 
francs a month, which he received as the recipient of the Grand 
Cross of the Legion of Honor, which had been conferred upon 
him by Napoleon the First. Among the many gifts made to 
Godoy by the king was the title to the province of Texas, and I 
then entered into negotiations with him to hunt up the original 
deed and execute a conveyance to the provisional government of 
Texas. But all of his property and papers had been declared con- 
fiscated by the Spanish government. Although he tried through 
some friends to procure that document he did not succeed in do- 
ing so. It would have been rather strange that Texas . should 
have claimed her recognition through a deed of conveyance of 
the owner of the soil, the Prince of Peace. 

"When I called to see Mr. J. Lafitte (banker) with General 
Hamilton, of South Carolina, to aid him in negotiating a loan 
of $7,000,000 for the Republic of Texas, after hearing me with a 
great deal of attention, he was pleased, and declared that the 
loan could be affected; but taking me to one side said to me in 
French, because he did not speak English and the general did 
not speak French, f Mr. Castro, please tell me where Texas is 

"On another occasion General Hamilton had an audience with 
Louis Philippe, who made him sit by his side and conversed 
with him in the most intimate manner, and having most solemnly 
promised his support to the projected loan, left the general per- 
fectly delighted. He called upon me and expressed great hopes 
of success, and we then visited Mr. Lafitte, who, after hearing 
the general's report of his conversation with the king arid his 


great promises, to our great astonishment he said to us con- 
fidentially that without any doubt the king would do exactly 
contrary to what he had promised the general. Hamilton was 
almost confounded at hearing Mr. Lafitte, but his prediction 
proved true, as afterward the king proved false to his word. 

"When I first tried to charter a ship to carry immigrants to 
Texas I found great difficulty, as the coast of that portion of the 
gulf was hardly known. I could get ten vessels to go to New Or- 
leans, but I could not find one to go to Galveston. I had maps 
of the coast of Texas, made according to the best data I could 
procure, which was from Captain Simpson, of Galveston, and 
circulated it in many parts of Europe. Among the pamphlets 
published by me, one particularly attracted attention. It was 
styled 'Coup d'Oeil Sur le Texas,' signed by Hr. Fournel, with a 
map by A. Bre, geographer to the king, dated 1840. 

"For services rendered to the Republic of Texas I was allowed 
to enter into a contract of colonization to establish two colonies, 
•one situated on the Eio Grande, commencing at a point nearly 
-opposite Camargo and running to Salt Lake (Sol del Rey), 
thence in a parallel line to a point opposite Dolores, below Laredo. 
This colony I could not attempt to settle, as Mexican troops oc- 
cupied in force that portion of the Rio Grande, and claimed all 
the territory between that river and the Nueces. The other west 
of San Antonio, including that portion of the country now com- 
prising part of Medina, Uvalde, Frio, Atascosa, Bexar, McMul- 
len, La Salle, and Zavalla counties, is the one I colonized. At the 
lime that my first colonists arrived in San Antonio, in February, 
1843, no settlement existed west of the San Pedro Creek to the 
Rio Grande. I met with great difficulties in procuring immi- 
grants in France, because the government was trying to turn the 
tide of immigration toward Algiers. After great expense and 
arduous labor, I succeeded in sending my first ship, Ebro, Cap- 
tain Perry, from the port of Havre to Galveston, Texas, with a 
load consisting entirely of French immigrants and a full cargo 
of merchandise subject to duties/' 

Henry Castro having landed one shipload of colonists in 1 843, 
the following is his report to the President of the Republic of 
Texas in regard to his work of colonization : 


"Washington", Texas, July 12, 1844. 

"General : The period has arrived when I am bound to ren- 
der you an account of the honorable mission confided to me, 
namely, the colonization by Europeans of a portion of the county 
of Bexar. 

"At the time your excellency executed a grant in my favor, 
on the 15th of February, 1842, you were likewise pleased to ap- 
point me consul-general of Texas for the kingdom of France. 
On that occasion the honorable Secretary of State wrote to me as 
follows : 'The President of the Republic has been pleased, in 
consideration of the services you have rendered to the cause of 
Texas, as well as from your known zeal for her interests and 
ability to protect and advance them, to appoint you consul-gen- 
eral of the Republic of Texas for the kingdom of France.' 

"I lost not a moment's time, and on the 15th of May was in 
the city of Paris busily engaged in the execution of my contract 
by every means possible within my reach. My early efforts were 
in some measure frustrated by rumors of the invasion of the 
county of Bexar, which were widely and industriously circu- 
lated. These rumors were, however, contradicted by a letter 
addressed to me by your secretary, which read as follows : 'The 
President desires me to say to you that he hopes that recent oc- 
currences may not incline you to defer the execution of your plan 
of settling your colony in our western confines. Its position for 
commanding internal trade and its capacities in points of soil 
and climate will make it a most desirable part of our country.' 

"The encouragement given me by your excellency strengthened 
my determination to proceed in the work of colonization, and on 
the 3d of November, 1842, I was able to dispatch from Havre 
the ship Ebro, with 113 colonists. This first expedition was fol- 
lowed on the 10th of January, 1843, by the departure of the 
ship Lyons, and on the 27th of the same month the ship Louis 
Philippe sailed from Dunkirk with a number of colonists, accom- 
panied by my agent, E. Martin, and by the Abbe Menetrier, chap- 
lain to the royal chateau of Versailles. The voyage of Mr. Mene- 
trier was undertaken with a view to examining the country, both 
on my account and that of his family, which had preceded him. 

"These expeditions are authenticated by lists containing the 
names, ages, and professions of the colonists regularly trans- 
mitted by each vessel to the honorable Secretary of State. 


"On the 14th of January that gentleman wrote me as follows : 
'It affords to the Governor of Texas much satisfaction to be in- 
formed that you are carrying out your contract in good faith and 
with much apparent success, and I have great pleasure in assur- 
ing you that every proper facility will be extended to you by this 
government in the prosecution of an undertaking so manifestly 
adapted to promote the interest of the country. The President 
is fully aware of the obstacles of the late predatory incursions in 
Texas by Mexico and the various unfounded rumors of invasion 
by that power have thrown in your way, and he directs me to 
assure you that he will not fail to give to those circumstances a 
due consideration as connected with the fulfillment on your part 
of the conditions of the same.' 

"This manifestation of kindness remunerated me for the in- 
numerable difficulties by which I was surrounded in France and 
in Texas, — difficulties to dishearten and deter me from the execu- 
tion of my arduous enterprise. I am fortunately so constituted 
that obstacles call forth my firmness and power of resistance, and 
impelled by these feelings I redoubled my exertions, trying to 
overcome all opposition and to justify the generous confidence 
you had reposed in me. I therefore continued boldly on the ex- 
ecution of my contract, and succeeded in forwarding from Ant- 
werp the following vessels: October 25, 1843, the Jeane Key; 
December 11, 1843, the Henrich; April 12, 1844, the Ocean; 
May 4th, the Jeanette. 

"The names of the persons composing each expedition are in- 
variably entered upon a list regularly transmitted by each vessel 
to the honorable Secretary of State. 

"These four expeditions, added to the three already mentioned, 
constitute altogether seven vessels transporting over 700 immi- 
grants, of whom the great majority are tillers of the soil. In 
selecting colonists I have uniformly required certain conditions, 
such as good character, the necessary clothing and farming in- 
struments, and means of subsistence for one year as near as pos- 

"The difficulties inseparable from my first efforts, and erro- 
neous statements of many of the immigrants may have affected 
to a great extent the rigid execution of this plan. The arduous 
and at the same time expensive exertions have incontestably laid 
the foundation in Germany and France of immigration to Texas. 


It is beyond all question far more practicable at present to trans- 
port to Texas 7000 immigrants than it was to induce one-tenth of 
that number to engage in the enterprise at the time I commenced 
the fulfillment of my contract. 

"A complete organization having been effected, will now secure 
a regular succession of expeditions, the first of which will leave 
the port of Antwerp in August and September next, so that tak- 
ing it for granted that the last expedition arrived about July 
15th, there has not been nor will there be any interruption in 
the process of settling the country. 

"If I have been able to endow the country with vigorous arms 
for the cultivation of the soil, I have not been less instrumental 
in contributing to improve the financial condition of the Eepub- 
lic. The vessels already sent to this country brought full car- 
goes of goods subject to tariff duties, and those which may be 
expected during the winter will be loaded with large amounts of 
merchandise. The experience which I have acquired during 
more than two years of practical exertions in the undertaking 
intrusted to my care has convinced me that Texas can only be 
promptly settled by immigrants possessing the qualifications 
mentioned in a preceding paragraph. The poor, to whom money 
may be advanced on a promise of repayment in labor, are unsuit- 
able persons for colonization, because the laws of this country 
refuse to recognize contracts by virtue of which the time and ser- 
vices of a party are engaged beforehand. The capitalist will 
naturally decline advancing funds on the sole guarantee of a 

"Farmers in easy circumstances rarely immigrate, and this 
remark applies to France more than any other country, hence 
the difficulty of obtaining settlers. By the terms of my contract 
I was to transport to Texas 200 families by the 15th of July, 
1843. I believe that in spite of every obstacle I have. 

"With regard to the occupation of the lands, that is a point 
which has not been under my control, and it has been retarded 
by various circumstances the existence of which was beyond my 
power to prevent. If required, I can quote the language of the 
honorable secretary in his letter of January 4th last, already al- 
luded to : 'The president is fully aware of the obstacles thrown 
in your way, and he will not fail to give to those circumstances 


a due consideration as connected with the fulfillment on your 
part of the conditions of your contract/ 

"My report would not be complete without 1 submit to your 
excellency a detailed statement of the expenses incurred, amount- 
ing already to $40,000, which are increasing the more rapidly 
because I am personally superintending the operations that could 
not be accomplished during my absence. 

"I have laid before your excellency a statement of facts. I 
submit them for your consideration and for that of the govern- 
ment. What I have already accomplished under the most seri- 
ous obstacles which could possibly be encountered will enable you 
to form an opinion as to my future success. I indulge in no vain 
boast or promises ; they are valueless in an undertaking in which 
action alone is called for. I shall continue, therefore, my labors, 
with the courageous perseverance belonging to my character, and 
with incessant confidence in your justice and in that of the gov- 
ernment. In 1841 you were pleased to acknowledge that I had 
rendered services to the country. I enjoy the conscientious con- 
viction of having since that period pursued absolutely the same 
course, identifying myself with the cause of Texas and devoting 
to it my time, my fortune, and the future prospects of my fam- 
ily. I entreat your excellency to assist me in taking possession 
of the lands granted to me in organizing my colony and securing 
to every settler the protection he has a right to expect, by desig- 
nating proper authorities in conformity with the laws of the 
country for the administration of the judiciary and the main- 
tenance of order. Henry Castro." 

When Mr. Castro addressed these letters and statements to the 
which had been granted to him, and was in eastern Texas at old 
Washington on the Brazos, and it seems entertained some fears, 
that he would have trouble in getting possession of the lands. 



Came to Texas in 1843. 

After Henry Castro had sent his first colonists on to San An- 
tonio he remained at Washington on the Brazos until he could 
communicate with some of the government officials in regard to 
taking possession of his land grant, and when this was all ar- 
ranged he set out on the 13th of July, 1844, for San Antonio, in 
company with Mr. Louis Huth, and arrived there on the 18th of 
the same month. His arrival created quite a sensation when the 
fact was made known. In his memoirs he says he stopped with a 
native of Genoa named Antonio Lockmar, and that he kept the 
best house in the city. He says that in Don Antonio he found one 
of the best, most courageous and obliging men he had ever met 
with in his many travels. On the 19th he called his people 
around him. who had been anxiously awaiting his arrival, and 
thus addressed them : 

"Henry Castro, to the colonists holding grants of land derived 
under his contract Avith the government of Texas : I have made 
you partake, within the limits assigned to me, with all the ad- 
vantages that the government of Texas has made me by granting 
to me a large and fertile tract of land in the county of Bexar. 
Circumstances independent of my will have prevented until now 
the taking possession of these lands. To comply as much as 
possible with the terms of my contract with you, I have come 
among you to aid you in your labors and to constitute the colony 
wdiere our hopes are to be realized. We live under the patronage 
of a liberal government, among the most hospitable and intelli- 
gent people of the earth, having at our disposal lands situated 
in a healthy locality and of notorious fertility. What have we 
to do in order to enjoy these advantages ? We have only to labor 
with courage, unity, and perseverance. Let us then go to work 
at once without hesitation or loss of time. I have taken care that 
we should be in sufficient numbers to conquer all obstacles of 
locality. My incessant labors in Europe for the last three years 
have secured me numerous and good colonists, who will arrive 
here next fall. At this time the ship Jennette Marie, which left 


Antwerp May 15th, and which has just arrived at Galveston, 
brings us reinforcements. Among all the concessions made by 
the government, the one to which you belong is the only one re- 
spected, on account of my efforts to fulfill the conditions of my 
contract. The land that you will acquire will in consequence 
of this exception be of more value. The Almighty has created us 
to work; let us fulfill our destiny if we desire to secure the wel- 
fare of our families. I will give you the example of courage, 
patience, and labor. You are associated in my enterprise. I 
will aid you with all my might and my resources. Actions and 
not empty words have always been and always shall be my rule 
of conduct." 

The next few days were busy ones with Castro, making prepa- 
rations to visit his lands and take a look at them for the first 
time. The famous Texas ranger, Capt. Jack Hays, was there 
and furnished Castro an escort of his men, which we see from 
his diar} r , which we quote now: 

"July 20th, 21st, 22d, 23d, and 24th.— I received many visit- 
ors, explained my plans to my colonists, and made preparations 
to visit the colony lands. 

"July 25th. — Left San Antonio with five men of Captain 
Hays' company of rangers. Our party consisted of seven, mak- 
ing in all twelve men, and well armed. Camped first night on 
Medio Creek, twelve miles west. 

"July 26th. — Mr. John. James, who accompanied us, killed 
three bears on the Potranco Creek ; saw many wild horses. James 
Dunn, one of the rangers, ran them and killed a fine stallion 
Crossed the Medina River and killed two deer and one alligator 
and caught some trout; camped on the Medina. 

"July 27th. — Recrossed the Medina. At 7 o'clock we had an 
alarm; one of the rangers reported having seen some mounted 
men, and not being able to make out who they were, six men 
left our camp to reconnoiter. They returned without any result. 
My grant begins four miles west of the Medina. The first thing 
I saw on my grant was a bee tree full of honey. Reached Quihi 
Lake, ten miles from the Medina. This point has water, timber, 
hills, and prairie. It is a good location for a settlement. Camped 
on the Hondo Creek : also another good place for a settlement. 
"July 28th. — Reached the Rio Seco, twelve miles west of Hondo 
Creek, still on my grant ; caught some trout and killed two deer. 


Ascended the Seco to the foot of the hills and camped at a water- 
hole below the hills. 

"July 29th. — Rode across the country and again reached the 
Hondo, where we gathered some persimmons and wild grena- 
dines. Camped three miles from Quihi Lake. 

"July 30th. — Followed the banks of Quihi Lake, which valley 
possesses all the advantages for a colony; procured honey and 
fish in abundance. Camped on the Medina. 

"July 31st. — Returned to San Antonio. Two of our rangers 
were taken sick with a fever. 

"I have during this excursion of seven days seen 160 miles of 
country, which can only be compared to an English park, with- 
out meeting a single settlement. No dangerous wild animals 
were found, but herds of deer and wild horses. With coffee, 
sugar, and flour, we have lived well from the product of our hunt- 
ing and fishing, and always had plenty of honey. I had left my 
colonists all quiet and full of hope, and on my return from this 
little exploration of part of the colony I found Prince Solms and 
his companions, with ten or twelve followers, had arrived at San 
Antonio a day or two after my departure, making a great noise 
and show, producing upon the modest people the same impres- 
sions as a circus troupe in their middle-age costumes. They did 
not have much trouble in gathering my colonists around them, 
as they spoke German and showed them certain liberality in the 
way of drink. Every one spoke of going and settling on the 
prince's land and following him wherever he should lead. Al- 
though the prince, acting as a gentleman, did not have anything 
to do with these maneuvers personally, still he manifestly sus- 
tained his agents in their course. He was much seconded by a 
desperate character by the name of Rump, who belonged to Cap- 
tain Hays' company of rangers. Prince Solms having been in- 
formed that I intended to establish my first settlement on the 
Quihi Lake, ten miles from the Medina River, which was four 
miles east from my colony line, listened to certain propositions 
that were made to him regarding a seventeen-league tract of 
land belonging to a citizen of San Antonio known as John Mc- 
Mullen. He started with his party to explore said tract of land. 
I understood that if he negotiated for the occupation, of such 
tract of land my enterprise would be ruined, and taking ad- 
vantage of his absence, I entered into negotiations with McMul- 


len, and with the assistance of one of our most able and honor- 
able attorneys, Mr. Vanderlip, made a contract with the said 
John McMullen to colonize on certain conditions his grant. When 
the prince returned to San Antonio he certainly was disappointed. 
On the 12th of August I made my colonists the following ad- 
President of the Republic of Texas he had never seen the land 
dress : 

"First. In order that each colonist remain in the true path 
that his interest commands him, it has become my duty to let 
him know what he would lose if he abandons it. You will have 
through me, first, a concession of 320 acres of land per family, 
and 160 acres for each of the single men, within thirty-five miles 
of San Antonio, in the vicinity of Quihi Lake, in a section of 
country where you will find good water, timber, prairies, and 
hills, -the land being of the first quality. 

"Second. A house gratis, for which you will have nothing to 
do but aid in its construction; during the occupation you will 
be fed at my expense. 

"Third. A sufficient number of cows will be furnished to 
those who have not the means of purchasing stock; all the milk 
they may need the first year. 

"Fourth. Work oxen, plows, and farming implements will be 
furnished by me free for the first year. 

"Fifth. To those who have not sufficient means of subsistence, 
rations will be furnished until the first crop is gathered. 

"Sixth. Labor will be given you in building up what buildings 
are necessary for the colony, for which labor salary proportioned 
to the ability of each will be paid you. I will also arrange the 
distribution of labor so that it will be equitably divided. 

"The above is my profession of faith and my address to you. 
Should you ignore them, you will act contrary to the interest of 
your families. 

"San Antonio, August 12, 1844. — I will only remark here that 
I had to contend with powerful enemies who were trying all their 
might to seduce my colonists, and that it took more than ordinary 
energy to fight against those enemies in a wild country far away 
from my associations. On August 20th I informed my colonists 
that in two former notices I had called their attention to their 
duties, that certain parties were trying to persuade them to ig- 


nore by the meanest kind of proceedings. I defy those who di- 
rect these maneuvers to avoAv them. If they did so they would 
receive at my hands the chastisement that cowards deserve. To 
day I make known to you that in order to facilitate your settle- 
ment of our first establishment I have bought sixteen leagues of 
land on the Medina at certain conditions of colonization. We 
will settle there. I will grant to each colonist that will accom- 
pany me forty acres of land and one town lot on the same condi- 
tions that I have obtained for myself. The balance of the 320 
acres granted to heads of families and of 160 acres granted to 
single men will be taken up on the lands of the colony grant. 
This new liberality on my part exceeds the promises of my con- 
tract with you. I hope that you will appreciate it to its just value. 
I gather you around me for a last communication. 

"I wish to repeat to you that I have secured for you the follow- 
ing advantages. [The same already above mentioned.] Those ad- 
vantages exceed the conditions of our contract, and are granted 
to you to accelerate our settlement and our prosperity. 

"Aug. 23d. — Information reached Prince Solms that his con- 
federates in Germany had entered into a contract with Fisher, 
and instructions received to abandon all projects of settling 
Bourgeois Dorvane colony. Yellow fever bad at Galveston and 
New Orleans." 

CAS TR 'S D I A R ) '. PA R T III. 1 3 1 


In writing the history of Castro's colony, I again quote from 
his diary : 

"August 25th. — Some of my colonists who had left Galveston 
in the early part of July will not reach this place as soon as it 
was expected on account of sickness. At Santitas' ranch, forty 
miles from San Antonio, the Indians attacked a cart which had 
unfortunately remained behind the convoy. A young colonist 
aged 19 by the name of Z. Ehin was killed. The driver, who was 
an American, made his escape. The Indians burned the cart and 
all its contents. Afterwards in the ashes was found the gold and 
silver that was in the trunks. The silver had melted and the 
gold had only been blackened. The driver remained in the 
woods the following day, and although the Indians numbered 
twenty he kept them at bay with his long rifle. One of the hands 
of poor Ehin was found nailed to a tree. He was probably the 
first martyr of European emigration by Indian brutality in west- 
ern Texas. 

"August 26th. — To-day five or six Comanches came within 
two hundred yards of the house I occupy on Soledad Street and 
succeeded in capturing eleven mules that were grazing in the in- 
closure. Alarm was given in the town and the robbers were pur- 
sued, but without any result. The mules were lost. Such acts 
of audacity on the part of the Indians intimidate my colonists 
and tend to injure my enterprise. 

"Four volunteers who were sent by Captain Hays to recon- 
noiter on the Nueces Eiver ninety miles from San Antonio were 
surprised while bathing in the river by a large party of Indians. 
Two were reported killed. The other two reported that they had 
undressed themselves and with horses unsaddled they were bath- 
ing in the river when they were fired upon from the bank of the 
river. The attack was so sudden and unexpected that seeing their 
comrades fall and fearful of being surrounded, they fled, leav- 
ing their arms, clothing, saddles, and bridles in possession of the 
Indians. You Texans who read this may know what our friends 
suffered riding naked bareback a distance of nearly one hundred 


miles in the hot month of August, but they however reached this 
place in safety. 

"The conduct of this scout sent as explorers in a portion of the 
country then full of Indians was certainly very imprudent." 

(This surprise of the rangers which Mr. Castro has thus de- 
scribed occurred at the three forks of the Nueces, as the place 
was then called by the rangers, and was in Nueces Canyon. The 
men w T ere Kit Ackland, Eufe Perry, James Dunn, and John Car- 
lin. The two last named were in bathing when the attack was 
made on their camp and they went to San Antonio and reported 
Ackland and Perry killed, but they, although badly wounded, 
made their way back to San Antonio on foot.) 

I quote again from Mr. Castro. He says : 

"In the month of July last Captain Hays with twelve of his 
company encountered near Corpus Christi seventy-five Comanche 
warriors. A fight ensued which I am told lasted fifty minutes, 
nearly hand to hand. Thirty Indians were killed and many oth- 
ers wounded and routed. This victory was greatly due to the 
use of Colt's revolvers that the Texans used for the first time 
in this engagement, to the great astonishment of the Indians,, 
who fought bravely." 

There is a difference of opinion as to where the revolvers 
were first used in conflict with the Iidians. Capt. Mayne Reid,. 
in his book, "Hays', Walker's and McCulloclrs Rangers," says it 
was in the Pedernales battle. The writer had an uncle, Andrew 
Sowell, who was in the battle which Mr. Castro describes, and 
says they used the revolvers (five-shooters) there, and he thinks 
for the first time. No doubt it was the first time this band was 
fought with them. Tom Galbreth, another old Hays ranger, says 
it was in Nueces Canyon; at least they used them on another 
bunch there for the first time. 

Again Mr. Castro says: 

"August 27th. — I hastened as much as possible the prepara- 
tion necessary to my leaving this city, believing that I had the- 
sympathy of the inhabitants of the place, but here again I met 
with a bitter deception. I had against me without my knowledge 
the merchants and large real estate owners. The first, because- 
they feared that a new town started west of theirs would take 
away most of their trade with Mexico, and the others because 
they had received the services of many of my colonists at low 


rates, and because they found in them industrious and intelligent 
laboring men. As long as it was thought that my proposed settle- 
ment was all talk, no opposition was made, but when it was found 
out that my departure was certain, rumors were circulated by 
those interested that my people would all become an easy prey 
to the Indians ; that they would not make a crop for a year to 
come ; that the heavy rains that would set in about October would 
prevent them from constructing their houses. How could they 
live in that desert ? They were going to leave a certainty for an 
uncertainty; they would certainly return, when they- would find 
the situations they now filled occupied by others, and a most de- 
plorable misery would be the reward of their removal. Those 
new enemies were not the least dangerous to encounter. How- 
ever, I was inspired to give them a terrible blow by proclaiming 
that in my first attempt to settle the colony I would only accept 
men to accompany me; that the families should remain in the 
city until otherwise decided. That satisfied everybody. 

"August 28th, 29th, 30th, and 31st.— These few days were 
employed in preparations for our expedition. On the 31st all 
the colonists who were to form part of the expedition, with their 
families and many of my American friends, were invited by me 
to participate in a farewell dinner, which went off exceedingly 
pleasant, and toward evening, owing to the great number of 
toasts drunk, became very enthusiastic. September 1, 1844, at 
4 o'clock a. m., I had gathered carts numbering twenty-two. 
The farming utensils, baggage, and provisions being ready to be 
loaded in the town, some of my employes informed me that ru- 
mors had been maliciously circulated that we would not start on 
that day owing to the small number composing our expedition, 
and to give it more weight, it was said and reported that I had 
stated that we would be at least fifty men strong, but that I could 
not fulfill my promise, etc. 

"I immediately sent ten men on horseback in all directions to 
contradict such rumors, assuring everyone that had enrolled his 
name to form part of my expedition ; that nothing but death 
would prevent me from starting on the appointed day; that I 
would fulfill all of my promises at any cost and hazard,- and that 
we would be fifty men an} r how at our departure. Although I 
made every effort in my power my adherents came in slowly, 


making many excuses under various pretenses, but always assur- 
ing me of their intended fidelity to their engagements. 

"My position became critical, for in delaying my departure I 
encouraged the efforts of my enemies to discredit my promises 
and take away from me the colonists I had brought to this coun- 
try at so much trouble and expense. Many unfortunately had 
allowed themselves to be persuaded. It was 2 o'clock in the af- 
ternoon, arid rain was falling by torrents, as if to create me more 
embarrassments. It became necessary to supply the number of 
colonists missing with Mexicans paid by me. On this occasion 
my friend Don Antonio, with his numerous friends, secured me 
the number of men that I wanted, owing to the high pay granted 
them, and I must say to his credit that all of them were good 
men and behaved well in all circumstances. Although it was 
raining by torrents at 4 o'clock, having kept all day an open table 
well supplied with meat and drink, I managed to retain those 
who would take the trouble to come and inform themselves of 
what was going on. It appeared to me a proper time to call the 
roll of the colonists. Of those to be present only twenty-seven 
were there, but with my Mexicans we were fifty. The train of 
carts being then loaded, I ordered it to start. When we mustered 
I found thirty-five colonists and Mexicans well armed, who fol- 
lowed on foot. I accompanied them with about twenty men, all 
pretty well armed and mounted. This departure was fortunate, 
and was really one of the greatest triumphs that I obtained over 
the overwhelming difficulties I had to overcome in my enterprise 
of colonization. It entirely restored confidence in myself and 
my enterprise. 

"September 2d. — On the Medina Eiver. Started with a party 
to reconnoiter the point where we were to form our settlements. 
We only returned to camp at midnight. I caused my people to 
create an alarm by firing their guns and pistols, and was after- 
wards satisfied that the lesson was not entirely lost. 

"September 3d. — Crossed the Medina Eiver at about 8 a. m. 
at the actual crossing (now opposite Castroville), a beautiful lo- 
cation. Our camp was shaded by large pecan trees, at the foot of 
which ran a beautiful stream having plenty of game and fish. 
The improvised kitchen of my French colonists was soon filled 
with dishes which, aided by the drink I contributed, soon brought 


everybody in good humor, and the evening was spent in a gay 

"September 4th. — Built a shed in which to place our commis- 
sary. Arrival of Deputy Surveyor John James. 

"September 5th. — A dispute arose between the French and 
German colonists, which I fortunately settled amicably. 

"September 6th. — Labor more regularly organized. 

"September 7th. — Messrs. Dr. Cupples and Charles de Montel 
leave for San Antonio to bring Bishop Odin. 

"September 8th. — Storm during the night, which surprised us 
and gave us a good ducking. Drank twice a little brandy dur- 
ing the night and smoked a pipe, contrary to my habit. 

"September 9th. — Arrival of three colonists. One of my 
mounted men reported having seen a trail of fifty Comanches. 
Information sent to Captain Hays and precautions taken against 
a surprise from the Indians. Built a guard house. 

"September 10th. — Cut timber to construct a large shed to- 
shelter every one temporarily. Discovered the kind of grass 
proper for roofing. Our camp abounds in game and fish. Ar- 
rival of Bishop Odin, Rev. Oge, Captains Hays and Chevalier. 

"September 11th. — Departure of Captains Hays and Chevalier. 
To-day my table was set on the banks of the Medina, under the 
rich foliage of. the pecan and walnut. Besides my customary 
guests we had the bishop and Bev. Oge, whom I did my best to 
please. Amongst the novelties we had for our fare we had sev- 
eral bottles of wine made from the mustang grape by one of the 
colonists from the Bhenish provinces. Without doubt it was the 
first wine manufactured on the Medina, and it was considered 
very fair. 

"September 12th. — An election was held by the authority of 
the county judge for two justices of the peace and one constable 
to constitute the authorities of our new precinct. I acted as 
president of said election. Messrs. Louis Huth and G. S. Bour- 
geois were elected justices, and Louis Haas constable. 

"On the morning of the same day we proceeded to the ceremony 
,of laying the cornerstone of the church of Saint Louis (king) by 
the Rev. Bishop Odin, accompanied by his grand vicar and fol- 
lowed by all the little colony. Discharges of musketry, bonfires 
built, and the usual libations ended this well-occupied day. 

"September 13th. — Departure of Bishop Odin, whom I ac- 


companied part of the way. The bishop was pleased to deliver 
me the following certificate : 

" c l, the undersigned, bishop of Claudiopolis, affirm to whom 
it may concern, that upon the invitation of Mr. H. Castro, who 
has received from the government of Texas a large grant of land 
in the county of Bexar, I visited, accompanied by Abbe Oge, of 
my diocese, his settlement situated on the Medina Eiver, twenty- 
five miles west of San Antonio de Bexar, to lay the cornerstone 
of the first Catholic church to be constructed in the first settle- 
ment of the said Castro, and that we placed the same under the 
invocation of Saint Louis. We have seen a good number of colon- 
ists at work building their houses with a view of forming a solid 
and permanent settlement. 

" Tn faith of which I signed and affixed my seal to these 

" c Odin, Bishop of Claudiopolis. 

" 'Castroville, Sep. 12, 1844. 

" 'Seen for legalization of the signature of Odin, bishop of 

"T. Guilbkau, 
" 'French Consular Agent at San Antonio de Bexar/ " 

The document signed by Bishop Odin and dated Castro ville, 
September 12, 1844, is no doubt the first time that the name 
Castroville was ever signed or printed, as it come into existence 
at that time. 




After the colonists had become somewhat settled in their new 
habitations and their town named after its founder, the follow- 
ing document was drawn up and signed by those who had re- 
mained with him: 

''Process verbal of the possession taken of the lands situated 
on the concession made to Mr. H. Castro by the Texan govern- 
ment, on the loth day of February, 1842, situated in the county 
of Bexar, and of other lands belonging to him. 

"We, the undersigned colonists engaged in France by Mr. H. 
Castro to participate in the advantages of the grant above men- 
tioned within the limits assigned by the government of Texas, 
the terms of which are more particularly set forth in a contract 
passed between us and the said H. Castro, do declare : 

"That the said Castro having assembled us at San Antonio 
•de Bexar as our leader, conducted us on that which had been as- 
signed and given us by him, in consequence of which we left San 
Antonio on the 1st of September to go to the Medina Eiver, 
twenty-five miles west, which place we reached on the 2d instant. 
We declare that, independently of our contract and without any 
•obligation on his part, Mr. H. Castro has made us the following 
advantages hereafter expressed, in order to facilitate to us our 
•speedy settlement." 

Here follow the advantages above mentioned : 

"First. To each of us forty acres of land of his property on 
the Medina. 

"Second. The necessary transportation and our rations se- 
cured until our houses shall be constructed. 

"Third. Horses and oxen until next crop. 

"Fourth. Bacon and corn to those who may want it until the 
next crop is gathered. 

"Fifth. The use of his milch cows. 

"We declare that Mr. John James, deputy surveyor of this 
■district, came and surveyed the lots assigned to us. We declare 
since twelve davs that we have reached our destination our labors, 


being well conducted, promise to give a comfortable shelter for 
ourselves and families within seven or eight weeks. We are 
satisfied, by the experience that we have acquired, that the 
climate of Bexar County is among the most salubrious, the water 
exceedingly good, timber sufficient, and the land appears to unite 
the qualities needed for a great fertility. Such is the protection 
under which we have established ourselves and which forms the 
base of our hopes. We have unanimously resolved to name the 
town of which we are the founders Castroville. 

"Done at Castroville, on the Medina, in the county of Bexar, 
September the 12th, 1844. 

"Signed : Jean Batiste Lecomte, Joseph Haguelin, N". Rosec, 
Theodore Gentil, Auguste Fretelliere, J. S. Bourgeois, Zavier 
Young, Louis Huth, George Cupples, Charles Gouibund, J. 
Fairue, 1ST. Forgeaux, P. Boilot, C. Chapois, J. Macles, Leopold 
Menetrier, Michel Simon, Theophile Mercier, Antony Goly, 
Louis Grab, G. L. Haas, Joseph Bader, Bertold Bartz, Charles 
de Montel, Sax Gaspard, J. Ulrich Zurcher, George Spani. 

"Certified to at Castroville, September the 12th, in the year 

"G. L. Haas, Constable. 

"Louis Huth and J. S. Bourgeois, Justices of the Peace. 

"Republic of Texas, County of Bexar. — I, the undersigned, 
do hereby certify that Louis Huth and J. Simon Bourgeois are 
justices of the peace and G. L. Hass constable for Castroville, 
in this county. 

"Given under my hand and official seal at San Antonio de 
Bexar, this the 5th day of October, A. D. 1844. 

"David Morgan, 
"Chief Justice of Bexar County. 

"Seen for the legalization of David Morgan's signature, the 
consular a°;ent for France ad interim. 

"Fautrel Aine. 

"Recorded by T. Hos. Addicks on the 7th day of October, A. 
D. 1844, in the records of Bexar County." 

All of Castro's colony did not arrive until some time in 1847, 
but came as they could get ready and shipping. 

The following are the names of the ships and the captains who 
commanded them, date of sailing, etc. : 


1. Ebro, Captain E. Perry, from Havre to Galveston, 1842. 

2. Lyons, Captain G. Parker, from Havre to New Orleans, 

3. Louis Philippe, Captain Laborde, from Dunkirk to Galves- 
ton, 1843. 

4. , . to Galveston, 1843. 

5. John Key, Captain De Paw, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

6. Henrich, Captain Andries, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

7. Ocean, Captain Eochjen, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

8. Jeannette Maria, Captain Perischke, from Antwerp to Gal- 
veston. 1844. 

9. Probus, Captain Deonis, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

10. Prince Oscar, Captain Azoerken, from Antwerp to Gal- 
veston, 1845. 

11. Marcia Claves, Captain Caiborn, from Antwerp to Gal- 
veston, 1845. 

12. Alberdina, Captain Mailing, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

13. Euprosina, , from Ghent to Galveston, 1846. 

14. Talisman, Captain Loomis, to Galveston, 1846. 

15. Diamant, Captain Bailer, to Galveston, 1846. 

16. Cronstadt, Captain Hatch, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

17. Carl Wilhelm, Captain De Schelling, from Bremen to 
Galveston, 1846. 

18. Louise Frederich, Captain Kniggs, from Bremen to Gal- 
veston, 1846. 

19. Neptune, Captain Starsloppe, from Bremen to Galveston, 

20. Leo, Captain Goerdes, from Bremen to Galveston, 1846. 

21. Bangor, Captain Leighton, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

22. Feyen, Captain Kruse, from Bremen to Galveston, . 

23. Due de Brabant, , from Antwerp to Galveston, 


24. Schanungza, Captain Pattern, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

25. , , from Bremen to Galveston, 1847. 

26. Creole, Captain Wessels, from Bremen to Galveston, 1847. 

27. Creole, Captain H. Hall, from Antwerp to Galveston, 

There are but few of the original colonists now alive, but the 
writer has found and interviewed some of them, and will write 
biographical sketches of these. They have a very interesting tale 
to tell of the hardships and dangers they had to undergo, both in 
coming across the waters and from Indians on the frontier after 
they arrived at their destination. Some were lost at sea, others 
died en route after landing, and many were killed by Indians. 
Mr. Castro lived to enjoy the fruits of his labors. His wife and 
son Lorenzo died at Castroville, but himself in Mexico, and there 
is no relative in this country that bears his name. 

I am indebted to Mr. Louis Haller, of Castroville, for a list of 
names of the ships, which he has preserved for many years. 



Came to Texas in 1844. 

Mr. Joseph Burrell, who lives on the Medina River above- 
Castroville at this date (1898), is one of the original colonists 
of Henry Castro. He was born in Aldorf, France, in 1829, and 
started to Texas in March, 1844. 

The start was made from Antwerp to the promised land, and 
the trip was uneventful. The ship sailed fast, and made a much 
quicker trip than many others which came about the same time. 
The first landing was made on Texas soil at Galveston, but like 
nearly all the immigrants, those who were bound for west Texas- 
re-embarked again for the port of Lavaca. Mr. Burrell says it 
took them a long time to arrive at the last mentioned port, and 
that a strange thing happened on the way. One day they landed 
on an island, and all of the officers on the ship went away and 
did not return for a week. The passengers could not tell where 
they went or what the meaning was. They could only wait and 
watch for their return. When the officers returned they gave no 
explanation of their conduct, but got under way again and ar- 
rived all right at their destination. 

From Port Lavaca the Castro colonists went to Victoria, and 
there saw their first Indians. They were in large force, but 
seemed to be on good terms with the whites. The balance of the- 
journey from here to San Antonio was made in ox wagons. Many 
of the immigrants by this time were sick from exposure, and 
two of them died on the way. Two oxen were lost on the San- 
Antonio River, which caused some delay and extra expense to- 
purchase more. Some friendly Indians had paid them a visit 
while in camp, and that circumstance likely accounts for the 
missing oxen. On the way out there was some talk of settling at 
Goliad. They had a surveyor along to lay off the land, but they 
abandoned this idea and moved on to their original designated 
place to settle. While in camp when the oxen were lost, most of 
the men scattered out to hunt them. The elder Burrell had one 
yoke of oxen, and with these he carried the women and children 
and those of the men who were sick to a Mexican ranch two miles 


away. One man was left in camp with the other wagon, and 
while here alone was attacked by the Indians and killed. These 
pretended friendly savages then burned the wagon. 

This first victim of the inoffensive German immigrants to 
savage cruelty was named Eehen. On this same day the subject 
of this sketch, then a boy 15 years of age, was out hunting the 
lost oxen on horseback, and coming to the San Antonio River 
started to ride down to the water's edge for his horse to drink, 
but suddenly the animal wheeled back and tried to run away. 
Young Burrell succeeded in checking him and looked back. The 
cause of the fright of the horse was now apparent. A band of 
Indians was on the opposite side of the river, and they at once 
commenced crossing towards him. He now let the pony run and 
made his escape from them. These same Indians went on to 
camp and did the mischief before noted. The driver of the 
wagon came in sight while the wagon was burning, but was 
afraid to venture near, so ran away and gave the alarm. 

The unfortunate colonists finally, by purchasing more oxen, 
made their way to San Antonio. Henry Castro and quite a lot 
of his people were at this place, not having as yet commenced his 
settlement, which was to be on the Medina Eiver, twenty-five 
miles west from San Antonio, at the present site of Castroville. 
The Burrell family was among the first to go out and. help to 
erect a shanty out of poles. It was a rude affair, but large and 
capable of sheltering all the people until they could get their in- 
dividual houses erected. This primitive shelter was covered 
with grass, which made a good roof, turning water like shingles. 
The people all stayed in it at night for fear of the Indians. Cas- 
tro himself came out with them, but went back to San Antonio 
and left Louis Huth in his place to see to the interest of the col- 
ony. His son now has a store in San Antonio. 

Mr. Burrell knew Capt. Jack Hays, and says when he first 
saw him he thought him quite young to be in command of a 
company of rangers. 

Mr. Burrell describes the country at that time as being very 
beautiful. No brush, only scattered liveoak and mesquite trees 
on the high ground, and large timber in the valleys. Many fine 
pecan trees were on the river, and high grass everywhere. All 
the streams were running high. The branch he now lives on was 
fed by a large spring, and emptied into what was called the 


Pecan waterhole, which was alwayS full until the Spring branch 
quit running, a number of years ago. This place was the camp- 
ing-ground of a large band of Indians when Mr. Burrell first 
came to the country. There is a well now on the original site of 
the spring, which affords plenty of water. 

In 1846 Mr. Burrell joined a company of rangers commanded 
by Capt. John Conner. They moved their camp many times on 
the lookout for Indians, but had no fight with them. When a 
trail was struck the Indians would burn the grass behind them to 
cover it. 

During this time the war with Mexico broke out, and Captain 
Conner carried his company to Mexico and joined General Tay- 
lor at Monterey. This was in 1847, On the way, and before they 
reached the city, they came upon the remains of a United States 
government train which had been captured and destroyed by the 
Mexicans. There were about 200 wagons, all of which were 
burned and the drivers all killed except one, who made his escape 
and carried the news of the disaster to General Taylor. Mr. 
Burrell knew a great many of the teamsters who lay dead beside 
the road. The Mexicans carried away the mules. 

When the time of their enlistment had expired Captain Con- 
ner's men were discharged, and Mr. Burrell joined the company 
of Captain Veach and remained until the war was over. He was 
discharged at San Antonio, and now draws a pension for this 
service of $8 per month. 

He next obtained a job as government teamster to assist in 
opening a road from San Antonio to El Paso. From the latter 
place he and others were sent seventy-five miles north to cut tim- 
ber for the purpose of building forts. Beeves and goats were 
carried along to eat. 

After arriving at the scene of their labors a place was selected 
in a secluded little valley in which to keep the beeves and goats. 
A heavy snow, however, soon fell, which covered the valley a foot 
deep, and which lasted several days. During this time the In- 
dians succeeded in getting the beeves and goats out of the valley 
and carried them off. There, were not sufficient horses in camp 
on which to pnrsue the marauders. The baggage wagon had been 
drawn to their present camp by oxen. These resolute fellows, 
however, determined to follow the Indians, and here commenced 
one of the most unique pursuits of Indians that has ever been 


recorded in frontier history. They hitched oxen to the baggage 
wagon and followed them in that. One reason which induced 
them to attempt a pursuit by this slow locomotion was the fact 
that the Indians would have to go slow with the goats and beef 
cattle. Not knowing the country, however, they soon got into a 
dry country and could find no water. The supply with which 
they started was soon exhausted. The oxen also gave out and 
lay down. They had one wagon, three yoke of oxen, and eight 
men in this strange expedition. The men now scattered in dif- 
ferent directions on foot to hunt for water. In his rounds Mr. 
Burrell came to a clear lake, and being almost dead with thirst, 
lay down on his stomach and commenced to drink very fast. He 
soon sprang up in terror, for it was alkali, and came near killing 
him. He now found some prickly pears, and cutting out the in- 
side, obtained some moisture by chewing them. On this same 
evening two of the other men found good water on the Sacra- 
mento Mountains, and came back to let the others know where it 
was. They all got together by firing pistols, and then lost no 
time in getting back to the water. Here they stayed three days, 
and were then loath to leave, as it was two days hard walking 
back to the wagon. The oxen had all been turned loose when 
the search for water commenced, but on the second day after the 
men had assembled on the mountain all of the oxen came up 
straight to the water. One man had started on the expedition 
on horseback, but had turned back when the water gave out. A 
man named Cotton, from San Antonio, was in charge of the 
timber cutting outfit, but had stayed in camp when the pursuit of 
the Indians was inaugurated, and he was informed of the situa- 
tion by the man who returned on the horse. Cotton at once came 
with two men to hunt for them, and found them at the waterhole 
on the mountain. They now killed one of the oxen to eat and 
drove the balance back to the wagon, hitched two yoke to it, and 
drove the odd one along. The country was sandy, and the team 
could not well pull the wagon through it, so three men would 
push, one drive, and three rest until it came their time to push. 
Cotton and the men with him went on back to camp, taking the 
other wagon and some teams which had been left in camp, and 
went across to Donna Anna, thirty miles away. 

The men came on with their slow and tedious way of moving. 


If one ox gave out the odd one was put in until the other could 
rest, and so on. Finally, however, all of the oxen gave out, and 
they had to leave the wagon and oxen except one, on which they 
put their blankets and other things, and traveled that way until 
the ox gave out, and then the men had to make pack horses of 
themselves. Having no water was the cause of the oxen giving 
out. The men were without w r ater on this return trip three days. 
Burrell had brought a five-gallon keg from the mountain, but it 
gave out three days before reaching their old camp from which 
they started in pursuit of the Indians. They stopped one day 
at the old camp and drank water. Next day one of the oxen 
which had been left arrived in camp. By this time the men were 
hungry again, and killed the ox for food. They remained one 
more day and ate beef. 

Cotton went to a new camp where timber was better, and sup- 
posed the men would follow 7 him when they returned. Some of 
them did so, but Mr. Burrell and two others went to El Paso, 
eighty miles distant. They had to make this journey on foot, 
and took some of the ox meat along to subsist upon by the way. 
It was thirty miles to the first water, and there they rested 
awhile. It was fifty miles to the next, El Paso. They were badly 
worn out. After resting awhile they built them a house, Mexican 
fashion, and went to farming by irrigation. Their crop, how- 
ever, was never finished on account of the Indians stealing their 
teams. They now quit El Paso and started to California. There 
were fifteen wagons in the outfit, some of them containing whole 
families. This was in 1850. On the route the Indians stole part 
of their teams before they reached the Gila River. The Indians 
were pursued, and this time with success. The stock was all re- 
taken and brought back. When the party arrived at the Gila a 
halt was made and Mr. Burrell went on alone. When he arrived 
at the Colorado River, on the line of New Mexico and California, 
he fell in with a friendly Indian who told him where to cross 
the river, as it was very dangerous. A party of white men now 
came along who seemed to know the fords, and Burrell crossed 
with them, but in doing so his horse was drowned. There was a 
train camped on the other side whose captain knew Burrell, and 
wanted him to remain and go with them. He stayed with them 
one night, but next day set out again alone. On the way he fell 


in with another train which was going his way, and journeyed 
with them. 

At Santiago he got on a boat and went to San Francisco, and 
irom there to Sacramento. At the former place he again met 
€apt. Jack Hays, who had removed to California after the Mexi- 
can war and had been elected sheriff of San Francisco County. 
Burrell bought tools at Sacramento and went out to the mines 
and got into a job at $6 per day. It snowed here a great deal. 
There was at this time great excitement on Scott Eiver, and Mr. 
Burrell went over there. On the way, however, his pack mule 
was stolen and he had to carry his pack on his own back. The 
snow was so deep he soon had to stop, and went to mining again 
at $8 per day. When the snow melted off he went on to the 
Trinity River and found better diggings there. There were six 
in his party now, and they soon heard news of a better place fur- 
ther on. Burrell and two others went on, but soon run short of 
means and had to return to the old camp. The other men by this 
time had gone and nothing was there. They went on down the 
■country, and soon lost all they had in an Indian raid. Burrell 
then went back to Sacramento and from there to Oregon. He 
stayed here nearly a year and tried farming, but made nothing. 
Salt was $16 per sack, and flour could not be had at any price. 
He had to eat beef without bread. His partner was sent off on a 
horse with money to buy provisions, but he went on into Cali- 
fornia and did not return. He secured another partner and 
went into the mining business again. One day while at work 
there was a cave-in and he was partly covered with rocks, and 
had to remain in that condition until his partner could go half 
a mile and return with help. He thought Burrell was dead. 
After the rocks were removed he was not able to stand, nor could 
he see. He was carried to a shanty, and did not walk for many 
-days. Nine other men were buried in like manner the same day, 
ttnd most of them died. He quit mining then and went to build- 
ing rock houses. 

He came back to Texas by way of New Orleans, and again ar- 
rived at Castroville in 1855. Soon after getting back the In- 
dians made a raid and stole some good horses from him, and also 
some from the ranch of Ed. Braden. The latter lived in San 
Antonio, but had a ranch on Calaveras Creek. Burrell and one 
of his brothers and a man named Huffman were up in the hills 


and saw the Indians with the horses, and Burrell wanted to make 
a charge and try to recover them. The others would not agree to 
this. He then said he would shoot and see if he could hit one at 
long range. The Indian's horse was hit, and he sprang on 
another and got away. It was one of Braden's horses that was 
wounded, and he was captured and brought back. Braden soon 
came and wanted Burrell to go with him on the trail of the In- 
dians. The trail was taken up, and after circling about some 
went straight towards Westf all's ranch on the Leona. When they 
arrived at this place they found a dead man and a dead dog in 
the yard. They did not know who the man was, but knew it was 
not Westfall. The same Indians they were trailing had attacked 
the ranch. They quit the trail here, as the Indians were too far 
ahead to overtake them. They learned afterwards that the dead 
man was French Louie, and that Westfall himself was badly 
wounded, but had made his way to Fort Inge. 

After this he joined a minute company commanded by Capt. 
George Haby. The Indians made one raid and stole horses all 
over the country. Captain Haby took twenty men and followed 
them. The trail was struck at a place called "Mescal camp," 
where some Mexican liquor had once been made. Here the In- 
dians killed and ate a horse. They were overtaken at the head 
of the Hondo Eiver, with 101 head of horses. Burrell tried to 
cut them off from the horses, but was prevented by a deep creek. 
The Indians left the horses they were riding and escaped into the 
brush. After a great deal of search and trouble the stolen horses 
were all rounded up and carried back to the owners. 

Mr. Burrell used to live near the Medina River, but in 1871 
was badly damaged by high water and wanted to move to the 
hills, but his wife's mother said no, it would never be this high 
again. Next year came a worse rise and he lost everything. He 
now lives on a high hill, a mile from the river. The wind took 
the roof off of his house here. Mrs. Burrell was a Haby, and 
came from Alsace. 




The facts in the thrilling incident of ranger life now about to- 
be narrated were furnished the writer by the old Texas ranger,. 
Thomas Galbreath. While Mr. Galbreath was not a participant, 
lie was a member of Capt. Jack Hays' company of rangers at the 
time, and well remembers all of the particulars of this frontier 

In August, 1844, about a month after the fight in Nueces 
Canyon, Captain Hays sent four of his men back to the canyon 
to see if there was any fresh sign of Indians there. The men 
sent on this rather hazardous mission so far from the settlements-- 
were Kit Ackland, Eufus Perry, James Dunn, and John Carlin.. 
The four rangers went a westerly course until they arrived at a 
point in the prairie north of where the town of Uvalde now is,, 
and then turned northwest towards the mouth of Nueces Canyon. 

For some time no signs of Indians were seen, except the re- 
mains of some of those killed in the previous battle, until they 
came to what the rangers called the three forks of the .Nueces.. 
Here about noon, after a hard ride, the men dismounted, un- 
saddled their horses, put them out to graze, and prepared their 
noonday meal. After dinner Ackland lay down to rest awhile 
before continuing the scout, and Perry stood guard. Dunn and 
Carlin took their horses down to the river to wash them and cool 
them off, and to take a swim themselves. The rangers had not 
stopped on the main river, but on a little creek with high banks 
several hundred yards from the main Nueces. Dunn and Carlin 
left their saddles in camp, and when they came to the river 
stripped off their clothing and rode their horses into the stream. 
Perry was a good and experienced ranger and Indian fighter, but 
even his exeperienced eye failed to detect a band of Indians who 
were concealed near by and intently watching every movement of 
the scouts, and as soon as two of them went off the Indians 
slipped down the bed of the small creek, keeping hid from view 
by the banks, until they arrived opposite the camp of the rangers. 
Their presence was not detected until they suddenly ascended the- 


bank and sent a flight of arrows at Perry, who fell with three 
wounds, two in the body and one in the face. Ackland at once 
sprang to his feet with his gun, but was fired on and hit in three 
places with bullets and arrows, one of which was in the mouth 
with an arrow, which knocked out some of his teeth and badly 
lacerated the flesh. He did not fall, however, but quickly aimed 
his gun at an Indian's face close by, who had his head above the 
bank of the creek, and fired. The charge hit the Comanche full 
in the face and he fell backward. The Indians had the advantage 
of the bank of the creek, which they could dodge back behind 
when they fired, but seeing the wounded condition of the two 
rangers, began to come out in large numbers and to charge them. 
Ackland, without backing, drew his revolver and fired on them 
with such deadly effect that they again sought cover. During 
this close combat the wounded Perry drew his pistol, and al- 
though unable to rise, turned on his side so that he could see the 
Indians, and by his shots helped to put them back in the ravine. 
Ackland now sprang to Perry, lifted him on his shoulder, and 
started in a run with him to the river, where Dunn and Carlin 
were. Ackland, although a powerful man physically, was nearly 
exhausted from loss of blood when he arrived at the place where 
his other two companions were and laid Perry down. Dunn and 
Carlin were brave men and had been in many fights with In- 
dians, but failed to come to the assistance of their comrades in 
their terrible need, but sat on their horses and watched the battle 
at their noonday camp. Their plea was that it was useless to 
make an attempt against such a large band of Indians, many of 
whom they could see in the ravine from their position on the 
Tiver, and knew they would be cut off before reaching their com- 
panions. The}' had stripped off their clothing and were in the 
water when they heard the fight commence at camp, and at once 
came out and mounted their horses without their clothing, ready 
for flight in case the Indians were too strong for them. By the 
time Ackland got to the bathers the Indians were yelling loudly 
and plundering the camp. Although the wounded rangers had 
pulled the arrows from their bodies they were bleeding profusely, 
and left a trail of blood from their camp to the river. The two 
unhurt and. mounted rangers, seeing they could do no good, took 
Perry across the river at the suggestion of Ackland, and then 
waited until Ackland crossed. A brief consultation was now 


held, and Perry asked Dunn to load his pistol for him. Dunn 
took the pistol and ascended a tree to see what the Indians were 
doing, but failed to load it, as he dropped it on descending, and 
exclaimed: "The valley is full of Indians, and a large band of 
them are coming this way." He and Carlin now set out for San 
Antonio, naked as they were and bareback on their horses. We 
will not judge the action of these two rangers too harshly. They 
said it was useless for them all to get killed. They looked upon 
Ackland and Perry as already dead, — badly wounded and no 
horses to escape on, — and they would hasten on and inform Cap- 
tain Hays of the situation. It indeed seemed that there was no 
chance for the two wounded rangers, left alone on the banks of 
the clear, beautiful river, with a horde of yelling savages on their 
trail. Under the circumstances some men would have given up 
in despair and met their fate without an effort, or, in the position 
of Ackland, told his disabled friend good-bye and mads his own 
escape if possible. Not so in this case, however, with the lion- 
hearted ranger. He determined to save his friend or die with 
him. They had no chance to defend themselves except with 
knives. The blood had dried and clotted around Perry's eyes so 
that he could no longer see even his brave friend, who was now 
bending over him and trying again to lift him on his shoulder. 
"What are you going to do now, Kit ?" asked the wounded Perry. 
The loud yelling of the Indians denoted their near presence when 
this question was asked, but they were on the opposite side of the 
river tracking Ackland by his blood, like a hunter would a 
wounded deer, and were not yet aware that the rangers had 
crossed the river, and no doubt expected each moment to come 
upon them and have an easy time taking their scalps. Ackland 
was very weak from loss of blood, and his mouth was so badly 
swollen that he could hardly talk, but managed to tell his friend 
that he was going to secrete him somewhere and then hide him- 
self, as that was the only chance. He succeeded in getting Perry 
on his shoulder, but staggered to and fro as he went off with him 
down the river. Ackland was careful in his flight to leave as 
little sign as possible. The blood had quit flowing from their 
wounds, and their saturated garments clung to their bodies. 
When almost exhausted and ready to sink in his tracks, Ackland 
came to a large drift that covered an acre or more of ground 
which had been deposited there during some great rise in the 


river, and this afforded a good hiding place. Crawling in under 
the drift he dragged Perry after him as far as he could go, and 
then explaining to him what kind of a place it was, said he would 
go and hide somew r here else, so that if one was found likely the 
other would escape. It was agreed that if either one recovered 
sufficiently and was not discovered by the Indians, to set out for 
San Antonio at once and bring help for the other. Ackland said 
he would not be far from, the spot where he left Perry. The In- 
dians could still be heard, and pressing the hand of his friend,, 
the fearless Kit crawled away and was soon lost to hearing. After 
getting clear of the drift, he covered the trail he made going in 
and out by throwing leaves and sticks over it, and then stepping 
on stones, chunks, and logs as he went away from the place. 

Ackland now went further down the river and secreted him- 
self. Perry lay under cover where he was left and listened to the 
Indians. After a short time he could tell that they had crossed 
the river and were evidently on the trail of the rangers, and 
would soon be at his hiding place. For some time all was per- 
fectly still, and then he was aware of their presence by low talk- 
ing near by. The Indians had begun to hunt more cautiously, 
not knowing but that likely the other two rangers were also in 
hiding and had their guns and pistols. He could also hear the 
Indians walking over the brush, and finally they got onto the 
drift under which he lay and walked directly over him. O how he 
wished for his eyesight and gun and pistol well loaded ; but he 
was helpless and lay still and listened, thinking that each minute 
would be his last. The drift covered so much ground and had 
so many openings in which a man could crawl that they failed to 
find the right one, and finally went on down the river. 

Perry was now uneasy about Ackland, fearing the Indians 
would discover him. He listened intently, expecting each mo- 
ment to hear the exultant whoop which they would utter in case 
they found him. He could tell this from the occasional yell of 
pursuit. His mind was greatly relieved as the hours passed by 
and he failed to hear the ominous sound come from the savages,, 
who were anxious to avenge the braves who lay dead up the river, 
and one at least whose ugly face was badly mutilated by a rifle 
ball from Ackland' s gun. 

As the evening wore on Perry suffered much from his w r ounds 
and thirst. He could hear the river running near by, and was 


tempted to risk the Indians seeing him and try to get to it, but 
yet he waited and listened. He could tell by the birds singing 
that night was not yet approaching. After what seemed almost 
an age to him everything became still. He could no longer hear 
the birds, and all animal life seemed hushed except the hoot of 
an owl or the scream of a panther or wildcat. He now deter- 
mined to leave his hiding place and make an attempt to crawl to 
the river. Slowly and in darkness he came forth, feeling his way 
and guided in the right direction after he got clear of the drift 
by the sound of running water. Many obstacles were encoun- 
tered, — logs, tree tops, and large rocks, — so much so that many 
detours had to be made to get around them. Finally, however, 
he arrived at the edge of the water, and no one who has not ex- 
perienced the same sensation can realize his sufferings or his 
pleasure while drinking the cold water, after dragging himself 
over rough stones and logs, guided by the rippling water to its 
brink. He now bathed his head and washed the clotted blood 
from his eyes so that he could open them and once more take a 
survey of the situation. It was indeed night. The dark moun- 
tains loomed up on both sides of the canyon, and the stars shone 
bright overhead and cast their reflection in the clear water at his 
feet. After his hot, fevered head had been cooled by frequent 
applications, and his thirst appeased, he felt strong, and for the 
first time since he felt the shock of the missiles which struck him 
that day at noon he was able to stand on his feet. One of the 
arrows had struck the lower part of his body and paralyzed it up 
to this time, except the use of one leg. He now thought of his 
wounded companion, whom he knew was not far away, but they 
dare not signal to each other for fear it might attract the In- 
dians. Perry feared that when the reaction came upon Ackland, 
after his terrible efforts to save him, and the bad wounds he had 
received, it would prove fatal to him or render him incapable of 
making his way back to San Antonio, which was about 120 
miles. The brave Perry now determined to make an effort to 
reach San Antonio himself and send back succor to his wounded 
friend. He was satisfied that Captain Hays would send men 
back to search for and bury their bodies, but as they had left the 
place where Dunn and Carlin had last seen them they would not 
know where to hunt. That night he set out on his painful, slow, 
and almost hopeless journey. We can not describe, but can only 


imagine, what he suffered from wounds, hunger, thirst, and the 
burning sun of August, impelled on by not only a desire to save 
his own life but that of his friengl, if he yet had a chance for life. 
Suffice to say that in six days and nights of travel he arrived in 
San Antonio. Dunn and Carlin had arrived two or three days 
before in a most deplorable plight, being sunburned and badly 
worn out by riding so far without saddle or clothing. They re- 
ported Ackland and Perry both killed, as they thought it would 
be impossible for them to escape. Captain Hays at once sent 
back a scout of trusty men to rescue his two gallant boys if possi- 
ble, and if not, to find the bodies and give them decent interment. 
Great excitement prevailed when Perry got in, and another scout 
was at once detailed to go and hunt for the other wounded 
ranger, as they had a better idea of where he might be found 
from a description of the place as given by Perry. 

Where now was the gallant Ackland? All felt an interest in 
him, and men hurriedly made their preparations to start. Be- 
fore this scout could get off, however, Ackland solved the problem 
•of his fate by walking into town about two hours after Perry . He 
liad left his place of concealment and started to San Antonio that 
night after he could no longer hear the Indians. They passed 
close to the place where he lay and went on down the river, but 
continued to circle and hunt until night. He and Perry started 
about the same time, and evidently were not far apart during the 
trip, — Ackland exerting himself the same as his companion to 
get to San Antonio to send succor back to the other. Both were 
in a horrible condition with wounds and starvation — three fester- 
ing wounds apiece, and both their faces lacerated and badly 
swollen ; even their messmates failed to recognize them on first 
sight. The best medical aid that San Antonio could furnish at 
that time was secured, and they were slowly nursed back to health 
and strength. The room in which they lay while under medical 
treatment was just north of where the large dry goods establish- 
ment of L. Wolfson now is, on the north side of MakrPlaza. 

The men who went back to look for the unfortunate rangers did 
their duty, but of course did not find them. They went to the 
battleground and saw plenty of blood on the ground where Perry 
fell and where Ackland stood over him with the blood streaming 
from his face, and could trace their flight by the blood where 
Ackland ran with Perry to the river. They could not track quite 


as well as the Indians, for it is evident they trailed to the drift 
where Perry was concealed, but were baffled there by the skill of 
Ackland. The rangers could not start the trail from where the 
two wounded men were left, but found Perry's pistol. 

James Dunn was censured by Captain Hays and others of the 
company, but he was a good ranger, and had no chance in this 
affair. He was looked upon as one of the most daring men Hays 
had. He was in the fight at Bandera Pass, in which he and 
Ackland were both wounded, and also in the big fight in Nueces 
Canyon, and there did well. Kit Ackland and Rufe Perry had 
more scars on them than any other men who followed Jack Hays 
in Texas or Mexico. Ackland died in California and Perry* in 
West Texas in 1898. The latter had more than twenty scars on 
his body made by bullets and arrows. 



Came to Texas in 1845. 

Mr. Louis Haller, one of the pioneers of Castro's colony, and 
who still lives at Castroville, was born in France, in Upper 
Alsace, in 1831, and started to Texas in 1845. Pie came in an 
English ship called the Qneen Victoria, commanded by Captain 
Randle. His father was a soldier under Napoleon and saw a 
great deal of hard service, following the fortunes of this famous 
Corsican over the bloody fields of Europe. The Victoria was 
three months making the trip from the old country to the shores 
of the new. Her captain lost his bearings and sailed around the 
shores of Scotland and Ireland, then to the West Indies, from 
there to Mexico, and then to New Orleans by way of Key West, 
Fla. The sailors on board the ship bet young Haller $25 that he 
could not climb to the top of a mast, but when he had accom- 
plished this feat they would not pay the bet. From New Orleans 
he went to Port Lavaca, He saw Galveston as he passed, but did 
not land. One lady died on shipboard while crossing the ocean. 
She had six child rem, one of them being born on board the ship. 

From Port Lavaca Mr. Haller came to Seguin by way of Vic- 
toria and Gonzales, arriving there in 1845. A Swiss by the name 
of Hipp kept a store in Seguin at that time, and Haller could 
understand his language, but could not speak or understand 
English. Mr. Hipp hired young Haller to clerk in the store for 
him. Of the settlers living at Seguin at that time, Mr. Haller 
can remember the Johnsons, Calverts, Kings, Sowells, and Nich- 
ols. On one occasion he went down on the river fishing near town 
with the Johnsons, and left them for a short time to look at some 
hooks which had been put out lower down the river, and was 
chased by a band of Lipan Indians. He had no gun to shoot 
with and they gave him a good scare, but he dodged them very 
adroitly and made his escape. These Indians at that time were 
at peace with the whites, and did not intend to kill him. Next 
day they came to Johnson's and told about running the boy, and 
said he was the smartest young white man they had ever seen; 
that when he ran away from them he left no trail by which they 


could find him. Haller had ran upon the rocks, jumping from 
one to the other, and leaving no trace of his flight. When out of 
sight he hid, and the Indians came very close to him. They told 
Johnson that they did not want to kill him, but wanted to make 
a servant of him for a squaw of their party. These same Indians 
tried to get guns from the white men to go and fight the Mexi- 
cans when the war broke out in 1846. But there were no guns 
to spare, and General Taylor thereby lost a few volunteers. 

In 1 846 Mr. Haller left Seguin and went up to New Braunfels, 
and from there by the way of San Antonio to Castroville. At 
this time there were a good many people there and not much 
work to do, so he went back to San Antonio and clerked in a 
store for Nat Lewis. In 1850 he came back to Castroville and 
settled. His people had bought stock and he came out to attend 
to them. He spent many years in the woods and on the prairies 
and lost much stock by Indian depredations, and altogether had 
quite a hard time. He says the Indians were very bad around 
San Antonio while he stayed there, and one morning .killed a 
Mexican boy near the plaza. The Comanches did this, and when 
they began their retreat back to the mountains they were followed 
by the friendly Delawares, and a severe battle took place in which 
the latter were the victors, killing many of the Comanches and 
taking, their horses. The rangers under Hays had gone to Mex- 
ico, hence this daring raid. While in San Antonio Mr. Haller 
wanted to join the rangers who were commanded by Capt. Jack 
Hays. The captain told him he was brave enough and could ride 
a horse fairly well, but was afraid that he could not shoot 
straight. Haller then took the captains rifle and showed him 
how he could shoot, and was complimented on his marksmanship 
by the great ranger captain. Soon after this Hays carried his 
men to Mexico, and young Haller went scouting on the frontier 
after Indians. He was on one scout with Big Foot Wallace, but 
his horse gave out at D'Hanis and he had to come back. Wallace 
went on and had a fight with the Indians at the head of the Big 
Seco Creek, in the mountains. This was about the commence- 
ment of the civil war. Soon after the war the Indians killed 
Valentine Guerly on the Francisco Creek. Mr. Haller helped to 
bring in and bury the dead man. Guerly was armed and fought 
the Indians. He was shot all over and scalped. They first 
buried the body at Castroville, but afterwards it was taken up 


and reinterrcd on the Francisco. These same Indians ran three- 
men who were in an ambulance. There was also a wagon along, 
and a fight ensued in which one Indian was killed. The men in 
the ambulance left it and ran to the brush and made their fight 
there. The men were Joe Meyer, Jack Bendeler, and Joe Kruest. 
The latter had a bullet shot through his hat. He had taken the- 
horses out of the vehicle and was trying to make his escape with 
them, riding one and leading the other, but the led horse pulled' 
back and broke his rope. The Indians tried hard to get the loose 
one and ran him very close, yelling loudly and shooting at Joe; 
but the horse was so badly scared at the yelling that he ran close 
behind the one ridden by Kruest, and the Indians could not cut 
him off. They all got safely to the brush without losing a horse- 
or man, and there beat the Indians off, killing one of their num- 

Mr. Haller's uncle, Valentine Haller, was killed on Lime- 
Creek, or Clay Creek as some call it. This was seven miles south 
from Castroville. The old man was alone when killed, and the 1 
people hunted for him a long time before his remains were found. 
His bones were brought to Castroville and buried. The grass in 
those days grew very rank all oyer the country, and if a man was 
killed while alone his body was hard to find. The bones of Mr. 
Haller were not discovered until the grass burned off. His re- 
mains were identified by some bits of clothing which had escaped' 
the fire. It was evident. that he was lost at the time he was 
killed. His hearing was also defective. 

A boy named Frank Gephart was stolen, or captured rather, 
on the Francisco by Indians, and was never heard from again 
by his people. His stepfather, Joe Murry, was with him, but- 
fought the Indians and made his escape. 

Mr. Haller was an old friend of Eube Smith, and remembers 
well when the Indians killed him on the Hondo. He also knew 
F. G. Tinsley, was an old-time friend of his, and said he was a 
justice of the peace in the frontier days of Medina County. He 
remembers the time when the man above Castroville beat the 
brass kettle all night during an Indian alarm. 

In 1867 Joseph Meuret and Frank Gephart, who lived near 
Castroville, went out to hunt oxen between Black Creek and" 
Francisco, and while on a cattle trail saw four or five men driv- 
ing horses and coming towards them. These men had on hats,. 


and it was supposed by the two ox-hunters that they were settlers. 
Their mistake was not discovered until the two parties came near 
together, and the Indians, for such they were, commenced yelling 
and shooting and charging upon them. Frank Gephart, who 
was but a boy 12 years of age, began, to cry, but his elder com- 
panion told him not to be afraid ; that they had good horses and 
could outrun the Indians. They ran about a mile, and the man 
told the boy to keep in the trail, and he rode behind and whipped 
his horse. In this way they got within 300 yards of. the Moore 
ranch, when another trail crossed theirs, which was washed out to 
a ditch. The boy's horse would not jump this, but turned and 
ran to one side, while the man was turned and shooting at the 
Indians, thinking at the time that the people at the ranch would 
hear his shots and come to their assistance. No one came, and 
by this time the Indians were among them and seized the boy's 
horse by the bridle. Others were shooting many arrows at the 
man, but by dexterous dodging and wheeling his horse was not 
hit, but many arrows were picked up there afterwards. The 
hard-pressed man now went to the Moore ranch, but no one was 
there, and he went back home and raised the alarm. A party 
followed the Indians but they were not overtaken, and the boy 
was never seen or heard of again. 



Came to Texas in 1845. 

Judge Bernhard Bracks, the subject of this sketch, was born 
in Westphalia, Prussia, in the town of Cossfield, in 1835. He 
started to Texas with his father, John Bernhard Bracks, and his 
mother, in 1845. 

They came on the ship Albertina from Antwerp by way of the 
English coast, and lay up for some time at Brookhaven, which he 
says was a great place for fish. At Brookhaven they took on 
more passengers, and had a long trip of sixty-two days to the 
coast of Texas, landing at Galveston. Here they stayed two 
weeks, and then took shipping for Port Lavaca. The ship was 
very old and leaked badly, necessitating a continual working of 
the pumps. While in this condition a furious Texas norther 
came from the land and blew them off from their course. It was 
impossible to cook anything on account of the pitching of the 
ship, so when they came close to St. Joseph's Island the passen- 
gers wanted to land and cook something to eat, but the captain 
objected to it, and there was a mutiny on board. The com- 
mander was taken prisoner and guarded on the ship by part of 
the men with guns, while others landed in boats and cooked. 
They stayed here one day and then got under way again, all be- 
ing satisfied, after their hunger was appeased, to proceed on 
their journey. 

The next landing place was at Corpus Christi, where they 
stayed two months. The time was in 1846, and their destination 
was Castro's colony. General Taylor was there with his army, 
and the war was just commencing with Mexico. Before leaving 
this place the colonists had to send to San Antonio for Mexicans 
and carts to transport their effects to their destination. The 
carts were of the old primitive type, with huge wooden axles that 
could be heard creaking a mile when moving. They had no oil 
for the carts, hence the fearful noise they made. While en route 
they split open prickly pears and greased ( ?) with that. While 
at Corpus Christi Mr. Bracks saw his first Indians — 300 Co- 
manches whom General Taylor had sent for and wanted to enlist 


them to fight the Mexicans. This the Indians refused to do, and 
went back to their hunting grounds. At that time they pre- 
tended to be at peace with the whites, but were ever treacherous, 
as their name implies, which means "Snake-in-the-grass." The 
immigrants had a hard trip to San Antonio. It rained a great 
deal, and all the streams were overflowed. One cart was washed 
away while crossing the Nueces Eiver. It was recovered, but the 
goods it contained were badly damaged. They had plenty of deer 
meat and turkey on the trip, but had no bread, using boiled rice 

When they arrived in San Antonio the Mexicans would go no 
further, and ox teams had to be hired to carry themselves and 
effects on to Castroville. The Brucks family stayed there one 
month, and then went out with a party to settle Quihi, still fur- 
ther west, but on Castro's grant and under his jurisdiction. This 
was on March 4, 1 846. The town had already been laid off, and 
ten families were the first installment. While at Castroville Mr. 
Brucks saw Capt. Jack Hays and his company of rangers. They 
were stationed for awhile on the Medina River above Castroville. 

The people who settled at Quihi, on the creek of the same 
name, had town lots in addition to their other land, and on these 
they soon erected temporary shelters. The hostile Indians soon 
found out this new settlement, and two families were killed by 
them in one week after the settlement was begun. Mr. Brucks 
heard the Indians howling in the night, and some heard the guns 
when they were killing the families a mile away. A man named 
Koch came to Quihi and told the news. The Indians took two 
boys captive, and great confusion prevailed among the people 
during the night. Mr. Brucks was a boy at the time, but can 
distinctly remember hearing one of the captive boys crying and 
calling for his father as the Indians passed near the Brucks tent, 
but all at once he ceased his lamentations and they heard him 
no more. The Indians had killed him. 

The elder Brucks had brought a church bell from Europe, and 
it was at this time hanging on the limb of a tree near his tent. 
Here the men rallied to fight the Indians, and one man was ap- 
pointed to ring the bell all the time. The bellringer became 
badly frightened, and would ring a few jerks and then run to the 
tall grass and lie down a few moments, and then run back and 
ring the bell again, and then back to the grass, and so on. 


Next morning the boy whose cries were heard the night before 
calling for his father, while in the hands of the savages, was 
found dead one-half mile from the Bracks tent. He had been 
killed by a lance thrust. The other boy, who did not cry, was 
carried on and was not killed. He stayed with the Indians six 
months and was then sold to a trader, who carried him to San 
Antonio, and he was sent from there home to Quihi. His people 
were all killed the night he was taken except his old grandfather, 
and he was badly wounded and died soon after. The boy could 
not or would not talk much in his own language when he came 
back, and being very young, could give no detailed account of 
his captivity. At first he said the Indians tied him behind an 
Indian on a horse that had long ears (mule), and also stripped 
and painted him. The boy did not like to have the paint on him,, 
and the first opportunity that offered washed it off. The In- 
dians whipped him for this, and then painted him again. This 
happened after they arrived at their far away retreat in the. 
mountains. The squaws would take him out of camp, tie a rope 
loosely around his body, fill it full of wood, and make him carry 
it to camp. He said the Indians while traveling ate all of their 
meat raw, but when they stayed in camp they cooked it. They 
had plenty of deer meat and honey. The boy did not know where 
the camp was, but said it was a long distance towards the north- 
west. One morning the Indians tied their captive to a tree, and 
then all left camp. In the evening they came back and a white 
man was with them, who bought the boy and untied him from 
the tree, and then carried him to San Antonio. The name of this 
boy and the one killed was Brinkhoff. 

On one occasion a boy named Henry Snyder, 12 years of age,, 
who was herding cows one mile from his father's tent, was cap- 
tured by Indians, carried off, and never heard from again. The 
cows were herded to keep them out of the crops, for as yet no 
fences had been made. 

After the Indian raid in which the Brinkhoff families were 
killed the people all collected together and built a brush fort on 
the bank of the big waterhole in Quihi Creek. It was simply a 
high brush fence in a half circle, the deep, wide pool of water 
making the other side secure from attack. Inside of this rude 
fortress the people would sleep at night. 


Mr. Bracks was at one time badly scared by friendly Indians 
when a boy and out after the cows. He was riding a mule, and 
had all of the cows in the trail ahead of him on the way home. 
Finally he took a fancy to walk, and let the mule follow the cows 
in front of him. During this time he heard the sound of an ax 
in. the brush and scrubby timber near hj, and at once left the 
trail to see who it was chopping out there so far from town. What 
was his surprise and terror, when he arrived at the spot from 
which the sound of the the ax proceeded, to walk directly into a 
camp of Indians. He was so close to them he was afraid to run, 
and stood and looked at them until an Indian came and took him 
by the arm and began to talk and motion all round in a circle 
with his other hand. Young Bracks could not understand what 
he said, and stood there in mortal terror. The Indians had plenty 
of deer meat, skins, and honey, and gave the boy some meat. 
Their honey was put up in deer skins. The old Indian chief took 
a piece of meat himself, and dipping it in the honey would put 
that end in his mouth and cut the piece off close to his lips. The 
boy thought he was a prisoner and had to follow suit, so he 
dipped his meat in the honey and ate like the Indian did. The 
chief then took Bracks out into the opening and showed him 
the way home, thinking he was lost. Young Bracks now made 
lively tracks and caught up with his mule, who seemed to be in 
no hurry, and was slowly making his way along the trail. Mount- 
ing now in hot haste. Bracks made his slow steed wake up, and as 
he expressed it, "made him git for home." These Indians were 
Lipans, and had a permit to hunt and carry skins to San An- 

The Indians all finally became hostile, and were so bad that 
the elder Bracks carried his family to San Antonio and boarded 
with an Italian named Locomer, who had once been a pirate un- 
der the famous Jean LafTtte. The Texas rangers were also quar- 
tered at this place, and one day in sport brought an Indian chief 
with them to dinner. They called the chief "Old Santa Anna," 
and had a good deal of sport with him, as he was very drunk. 
The landlord, as was his daily custom, was also drunk. The red 
chief was very awkward at dinner, and the rangers could not 
make him eat with knife and fork, but persisted in putting the 
meat and other edibles in his mouth with his fingers. Old Loco- 


mer did not like this, and hit the Indian over the head with a 
pistol, knocking him down. "Old Santa, Anna," as the hoys 
called him, was very mad at this treatment and went away, but 
soon came back with his bow and arrows and a big knife, and 
said he had come back to kill the white man that hit him. Loco- 
iner stood behind a half-open door, and as the Indian came in he 
grabbed him and held him against the wall, and took his bow and 
arrows and knife away from him. This Indian was one of the 
Lipans who came to San Antonio to sell skins under the treaty 

San Antonio at that time had no houses with a board or 
shingle roof. One house, called the "Plaza house," was being 
built by Mrs. Elliott and covered with shingles, but it was not 
finished. Mr. Brucks knew John Glanton, the famous gambler, 
and saw him cut a Mexican to pieces one day for spilling water 
on him. The Mexican, although badly hurt, got well. 

After Mr. Brucks moved back to Quihi the Indians were still 
hostile, and he had many narrow escapes. On one occasion while 
out hunting on foot, three miles from home, he shot a deer, and 
when it fell his dog ran up and caught hold of it, but it got up 
and ran away, followed by the dog. This dog would never bark 
on a trail or when he caught anything, so Mr. Brucks ran through 
a thicket to see which way they went, as it was open beyond in 
the direction they were headed the last he saw of them. Before 
getting to the opening himself, however, he saw an Indian stand- 
ing in the bushes watching the dog catch the deer. Brucks now 
secreted himself without being seen by his dusky foe, and re- 
loaded his gun. Not knowing how many more might be near, 
he slipped away into a larger thicket and lay down and listened, 
intending to tight them there if they came upon him. While 
lying here he happened to think that his dog would trail him, 
and by following the dog the Indians would come upon his hid- 
ing place, so he crawled out and made tracks for home. About a 
mile from home the dog overtook him and was very bloody. At 
first Mr. Brucks thought the Indians had wounded him, but 
it proved to be the blood of the wounded deer which the dog 
had caught. The alarm of Indians was raised when Mr. Brucks 
arrived at the settlement, and a crowd of men went back to in- 
vestigate. Only a portion of the deer could be found. The red 
hunter had taken the balance, but he could not be found. It 


was now evident that only one Indian was there, and if Mr, 
Bracks had known this he conld easily have killed him. 

In 1849 the elder Bracks died of cholera, during the prevalence 
of the great epidemic of that year. He had a hay contract with 
the government, and had established his camp between the Medio 
and Leon creeks. The contract was finished, and Mr. Bracks 
went to San Antonio to get his money and buy some goods. All 
this was accomplished and he started home, but had caught the 
dread plague and died on the road at Medio Creek. Another 
man with him, named Leinweber, also died. At this time young 
Bernard Bracks was county commissioner at Castroville, and 
had the cholera himself. Many people died. 

In 1861 Mr. Bracks joined a company of rangers commanded 
by Capt. James Paul, and was stationed at Camp Verde. On one 
scout they got seventy-five head of horses from the Indians which 
these reel thieves had stolen and driven off from the settlers. On 
another occasion Captain Paul lost his spectacles while on an 
Indian chase, and when it was over had the whole company look- 
ing for the lost glasses. A cedar limb had jerked them off, but 
a whole company of Texas rangers failed to find them. The fa- 
mous Indian fighter and slayer of the "Big Foot" Indian, Ed 
Westfall, was their guide and trailer. Judge Bracks says that 
Westfall would follow Indians until his horse gave out, and then 
would abandon him and continue the pursuit on foot. In one 
camp they found seventy-five head of horses, but no Indians 
were around. They were off in the D'Hanis settlement stealing 
more horses. One shield was hanging on a limb in camp. These 
Indians were pursued from D'Hanis and the horses recovered 
which were stolen from that place. 

In 1880 Mr. Bracks was appointed county judge of Medina 
County, and was then regularly elected to that office for four- 
teen years. Pie now lives at Dunlay, on the Southern Pacific 
road, and is strong and hearty. 

Capt. James Paul was a lawyer and private secretary of Henry 
Castro. He lived to be quite old, and died at Castroville in 1897.. 



Came to Texas in 1845. 

Around the old town of D'Hanis, situated two miles east of 
the Seco Creek, in Medina County, and on the line of the South- 
ern Pacific railroad, cluster many historic incidents of the long 
ago, when these valleys and prairies were covered with rank 
grass, and herds of deer and antelope and wild horses called 
mustangs roamed over them instead of the domestic animals of 
civilization, as now. 

At the time of which we write, a struggling little colony of 
German immigrants brought here from the old country by Henry 
Castro were righting for existence and trying, it seemed almost 
in vain, to sustain themselves from incursions of hostile Indians 
and all the ills of an isolated frontier life, cut off as it were from 
the outside world. By pluck and perseverance, however, they 
weathered the storm, and now their children, — for there are 
very few of the old ones left, — enjoy the fruits of their labor and 
hardships in the possession of nice residences and beautiful and 
well laid out farms and ranches. Only a few of the low grass- 
covered huts remain to mark the footsteps of the pioneers. 

In 1859, although the country had undergone a change and 
times were more prosperous, and a good deal of the hardships of 
frontier life had been overcome in the twelve years' existence of 
the colony, still it was the frontier, and Indians raided constantly 
upon them, killing the settlers, carrying some into captivity, 
and driving off many head of stock, especially mules and horses, 
to their strongholds in the mountains or on the "Staked Plains." 

At the time of which we write (1859), Capt. Joe Ney, Sr., 
one of the first settlers, was still alive, and kept a hotel, store, 
and stage stand at old D'Hanis. In the fall of the above year the 
Indians made a raid on the town at night and succeeded in get- 
ting the stage horses and other stock which were in the corral, 
to the number of nearly thirty head. To illustrate with what 
sly and stealthy movements an Indian can work and not be de- 
tected, we will say that the inclosure from which the stock was 
taken adjoined the storehouse and hotel, and no one was dis- 


turbed or the presence of the Indians detected until the morn- 
ing came and disclosed the fact that the corral was empty. 

On the night of this daring raid there was a lone man camp- 
ing on the Seco Creek, near D'Hanis, named James C. Can/ now 
known throughout the State as Colonel Can, or "Locomotive,' 7 
the noted depredation claim agent of the Alamo City. Early 
on the morning after the raid Colonel Can, or "Buckskin" as 
he was then called by the settlers, on account of a suit he wore 
made out of that material, went to D'Hanis and there found 
Capt. Joe Ney, "Seco" Smith, Eiley, and other citizens of 
D'Hanis preparing to go in pursuit of the red marauders. "Buck- 
skin" was never too busy or in too great a hurry not to waive all 
other considerations and go in pursuit of Indians when they 
raided in the vicinity where he was, so he at once joined Captain 
~Ney and set out after the hostiles. The trail led in a northwest 
direction to a point on the head waters and mountain creeks of 
the Medina and Guadalupe rivers. Here the trail suddenly 
turned towards the southeast, going in the direction of the little 
frontier town of Bandera, situated on the Medina Eiver. These 
experienced frontiersmen from D'Hanis soon perceived, from 
the signs and general direction traveled, that the horses were now 
in the hands of white men, who were evidently making for Ban- 
dera. This surmise was correct, for when Ney and his party ar- 
rived at Bandera they found all of the horses in possession of a 
scout who had just arrived in town a little ahead of them. Cap- 
tain Sauer and other citizens of the town and vicinity had struck 
a trail of Indians who had been raiding in their settlement, but 
abandoned it and were returning home when they struck this 
band of Indians who had raided D'Hanis, and gave them battle. 
The Indians failed to make much of a fight, and soon abandoned 
the horses and fled into a cedar brake. While considerable shoot- 
ing was indulged in by Captain Saner and his men, it was not 
known if an Indian was killed or wounded, on account of the 
thick brush and rocks where the skirmish took place. The horses 
were all collected and driven to Bandera, This fight took place 
at the point where Ney's men noticed the acute turn the trail 
assumed, and at once surmised that here the Indians had met 
with white men and been defeated and the horses recaptured. 
Captain Saner said his men were tired, thirsty, and hungry when 
they met the Indians, and after routing them and rounding up 

One of Capt. Joe Ney's scouts in the early 50's. 


the horses, not only those which were taken from Medina County, 
but as many more which had been stolen elsewhere, came at once 
back home. 

Captain Ney and party having cut out their horses, left Ban- 
dera in the evening, coursing their way without a road across 
the mountains in the direction of D'Hanis. 

Late in the evening Colonel Carr, or "Buckskin/' sighting a 
fine herd of deer, stopped behind to get a shot. The game was 
shy on account of the open country^ and he had some trouble to 
get in good range. Finally, however, between sundown and dark, 
Carr took a shot at a fine buck. At the crack of the gun the 
stricken deer, which was standing about 100 yards away, came 
bounding towards him, and almost fell at his feet. His horse, 
which was being held by the bridle, took fright, jerked loose, 
bounded away, and was soon out of sight in the gloaming. The 
horse went in the direction Ney and party were going. "Buck- 
skin" could have trailed his horse and followed the right course 
had daylight lasted, but night coming on this was impossible. 
He stood over the deer a few moments, loath to leave it, but as 
nothing could be done with it said to himself, "Good meat, adios." 
It was impossible to follow the trail, and it grew darker and 
darker. No direct course could be followed, and "Buckskin" soon 
realized that he was lost, and would have to spend the night alone 
In the trackless woods. 

Captain Ney and his party camped a little after dark, and the 
horse ridden by Carr, true to the instinct of his animal nature, 
followed true on their trail and soon arrived in camp with sad- 
dle and bridle, but minus his rider. It was at once believed by 
all that J. C. Carr was killed by Indians, and falling from his 
horse, the animal had escaped. Thinking that a band of In- 
dians was in their vicinty, like all prudent frontiersmen they 
built no fires or gave any signal to the missing man. Guided 
by a few dim stars, "Buckskin" wandered nearly all night in a 
vain endeavor to get the right course for the settlement at 
D'Hanis. At last, seeing all his efforts were futile, he lay down 
to rest but not to sleep. At daylight he ascended a mountain 
peak and got his course for D'Hanis, which was about ten miles 
distant. This was on Sunday morning. Captain Ney and his 
party had also made a daylight move and reached town early in 
the morning, ate breakfast, and then raised a large crowd for 


the purpose of hunting for the body of Carr, thinking they would 
find his mutilated remains and likely have to fight a band of 
Indians. Before they started, however, they sighted a lone pe- 
destrian in the distance, coming straight to town. By his garb 
they soon recognized him, and a wild shout went up as many 
galloped to meet him. They dismounted, took him on their shoul- 
ders, and came shooting and yelling back to town. He was car- 
ried to the hotel of Captain Ney, where was spent one Sunday 
never to be forgotten by those who were at that time citizens of 
the old town of D'Hanis. So much for this raid, fight, and loss 
of but one (buckskin) man. Col. Locomotive Carr came to Texas 
in 1845 from his native State, Tennessee, and has resided in the 
Rio Grande border counties ever since 1857. 



Came to Texas in 1846. 

John L. Mann, the subject of this sketch, and one of Castro's 
colonists, was born in Upper Alsace. Mr. Mann, in company 
with the Habys, started to Texas in October, 1846, on the ship 
Due de Braband, and made the trip in forty-eight days, which 
was considered fast time in those days. Other ships which, 
started two weeks before the Due de Braband were beaten two 
weeks in making the passage. In December the ship landed at 
Galveston. The immigrants went from there to Port Lavaca, 
arriving at the latter place on Christmas day. There were 200 
passengers aboard, about one-half from Alsace and the others 
from Wittenburg. They did not celebrate Christmas, but spent 
the day unloading the ship. Mr. Mann had no relatives on the 
vessel, his parents having remained in Europe. Old man Joseph 
Haby helped to pay his passage from the old country to Texas, 
and he says was like a father to him. His father was taken sick 
in Germany the day he landed in Port Lavaca, and died on New 
Year's day. In 1851 his mother and brothers and sisters came 
to Texas and lived in the Haby settlement. Mrs. Mann, the 
aged mother of John L., lived to be 85 years old, dying in 1892. 
When Mr. Mann and the Habys arrived at Port Lavaca with 
other immigrants they had no way of coming to Castro's colony, 
and Nichalus Haby bought a horse and rode all the way to Cas- 
tro's colony, a distance of nearly 300 miles, to procure Avagons and 
teams, and then went back after his people and some others. The 
Habys had brought two wagons on the ship from Europe, and 
Nichalus procured oxen at Castroville to work to these wagons 
and drove them all the way to Port Lavaca for this purpose, and 
also carried one more wagon and team, and with these they came 
on out to the colony, arriving there on the 2d day of February, 
1847. Mr. Mann's father told him when he went to sail for Amer- 
ica to stay with the Habys, but 1847 was a very dry year, and the 
Habys not having much work to do, John left and went to San 
Antonio and there obtained work on the Alamo. After the Mexi- 
can war was over the people in San Antonio heard that Col. Jack 

JOHN L. MANN. 171 

Hays was coming with his regiment of Texas rangers, who had so 
distinguished themselves in various battles in Mexico, and great 
preparations were made to receive him and his men, who were go- 
ing to enter San Antonio from the east, coming by way of Seguin. 
When the news was spread through the town that the rangers were 
in sight, Mr. Mann and many others ascended to the top of the 
Alamo to see them pass through the Alamo Plaza. Thousands 
of people were present, and as the sunburned, warworn veterans 
entered the town cheer on cheer rent the air. A regular salute of 
twenty-one guns was to have been fired, but the cannon Avhich 
they had ready for the occasion got out of order after a few 
shots, and this part of the program had to stop. Colonel Hays 
and his men marched on through the Alamo Square, crossed the 
river at the bridge, and passed up Main Street to the square in 
the central part of the city, followed by the shouting, cheering 
multitude all the wa.y. 

After night another cannon was procured, and Mr. Mann 
hitched two horses to it and proceeded to Main Plaza, followed 
by the men, who were going to try again to fire the salute to 
Colonel Hays and his men. Arriving in the center of the plaza, 
Mr. Mann unhitched the team and carried them away so that 
they would not be frightened when the big gun was fired. This 
time the salute was a success; boom after boom made the old 
town echo and re-echo again and again. 

In 1849 Mr. Mann was employed by the government and sent 
to Port Lavaca after wagons. The government already had 
mules and oxen down there. Before arriving at the port, news 
was circulated that the cholera was there. Mr. Mann, however, 
did not believe this report, and proceeded on into town and found 
out that it was not true. When on the way back to San Antonio 
a rumor came that cholera was in that place, but this was also 
looked upon as a fake. While in camp, however, on the Salado 
Creek, four miles from the city, the report was confirmed. The 
dread epidemic was indeed there. Mr. Mann had started with 
a mule team, but had exchanged with another driver on the road 
for one of oxen, and as grass was good and water plenty, he re- 
mained here in camp until the dread disease had run its course. 
Many people died, and when he entered San Antonio he missed 
many faces of friends who had succumbed to the epidemic. 

The wagons were now loaded with supplies for the post at El 


Paso, which was under command of Maj. Martin Van Horn. A 
guard of soldiers went with the supplies, and also a party of en- 
gineers to work on the road, which was almost impassable in 
places, and which caused delays of many weeks. Two weeks were 
spent at Devil's Eiver cutting down the bank before the wagons 
could go down into the channel. The mail at this time from San 
Antonio to El Paso was carried by Big Foot Wallace. He had 
guards with him, one of whom was Mr. C. Pingenot, who now 
lives at Kline, in Uvalde County. 

On the way back from El Paso, and when about half way to 
the Pecos Eiver, they met Howard's private train loaded with 
goods which were to be transferred to the government train and 
carried on. Mr. Mann's wagon was loaded with part of these 
goods and he went back to El Paso. The wagons were then sent 
up to Santa Fe and the teamsters discharged, but Mr. Mann got 
employment two months at the post. In May he came down on a 
pony in company with five teamsters who were driving govern- 
ment wagons to San Antonio. In June he was employed by Dr. 
Lyons of San Antonio to drive a wagon in his train up to El 
Paso. Mr. N"at Lewis of San Antonio also went up with a train 
about the same time, composed of wagons and carts. Mr. Mann 
knew all points well in regard to water, and was guide or general 
adviser in regard to travel and camps. The train arrived at 
El Paso all right, and started back on the return trip, arriving at 
"Dead Man's Pass" with five wagons and thirteen men. This 
is believed by a great many people to be an unlucky number. 
Eight other discharged men on horseback had been with the 
wagons, but bad left them and went on, seven mounted and one 
on foot. At the pass the teamsters found one horse of this party 
which had given out, so this left two of them afoot. Three other 
wagons were behind, but had not arrived in sight yet. There 
was a long stretch of road ahead in view, and Mr. Mann saw some 
one on a hill in the road walking, and thought it was some of the 
party mentioned before. This person, however, was an Indian 
who had gone on the hill in the road to see how far the party of 
horsemen were ahead, for here the Indians had laid a trap to 
capture the train. Part of the Indians at this time were hid 
from view by the thick, tall bear grass on one side of the road, 
and the balance were behind a hill out of sight of the road on 
the opposite side, and mounted on their horses. The men in the 

JOHN L. MANN. 17$ 

party of teamsters who were now about to experience one of those 
fearful frontier tragedies so often enacted were John L. Mann, 

Ben Sanford, Emory Givins, John Crowder, McDonald,. 

Charley Hill, Jerry Priest, Brown, Charles Blawinsky 

(Polander), Nick Andres, and others whose names can not now 
be recalled, among whom was a blacksmith. 

John Mann's wagon was in the lead, and walking ahead of 
him • in the road about thirty steps was Jerry Priest and the 
blacksmith. The latter had lost his mind while on this trip, and 
at this time was perfectly crazy, but harmless. The wagons were 
now inside of the ambuscade, and the Indians began to show 
themselves on both sides of the road. Priest stopped and began 
to look to the right and left, and Mann said to him, "What is 
the matter there ?" "Indians," said Priest, and at once ran back 
to the wagons. The poor demented blacksmith made no attempt 
to run, and was killed in his tracks by the first fire from the 

The Indians kept firing, and soon killed the near wheel steer 
in Mann's team, and also shot many arrows at him in a few mo- 
ments. Thinking that his gun was in the rear end of the wagon, 
he jumped out and ran back there and felt where he always kept 
it, but it was gone, so he and Priest ran back to the next wagon. 
Some confusion now ensued, but most of the men left their teams 
and ran together, and the long, desperate battle commenced. The 
man Brown was an old Indian fighter and took things very coolly, 
standing near a wagon wheel and putting in his shots as fast as 
he could load his rifle and take aim. The balance of the men 
who had guns were doing the best they could against such odds. 
The Indians would make close, daring runs, yelling loudly, and 
on one of these occasions Brown killed one, and he fell from his* 
horse and lay on the ground within thirty yards. 

The Indians were shooting both bullets and arrows, which 
were almost continually striking the wagons, especially the one 
at which the men had concentrated. A ball finally struck Brown, 
and he fell. Some of the men who were inside of the wagon and 
shooting from there saw Brown when he was hit, and knew from 
the way he fell that he was killed. The Polander had stood by 
Brown on the outside and was still fighting, but at length he was- 
hit and fell mortally wounded. 

The situation now looked desperate, indeed ; three of the men 


already killed and the Indians still numerous and exultant. Some 
of the men now proposed they make a sally from the wagon and 
bring the bodies of Brown and the Polander in ; the latter they 
knew was not dead. This was at once and quickly done. Brown 
was dead, and his unfortunate comrade was writhing in agony. 
Nick Andres, who had been outside fighting near his own wagon, 
now got in the wagon with his gun and aimed it over the wagon- 
bed to shoot while the Indians were making a charge and were 
very close, but a ball struck him in the throat before he could 
pull his trigger, and he fell back and died in a few moments. It 
seemed now that there was no chance for the beleaguered men. 
One of their party lay dead in the road thirty steps away, two lay 
dead in the wagons, and another dying. An old man whose name 
is not now remembered, and who was in the wagon with Andres 
but had no gun, took the dead man's gun, jumped out of the 
wagon, and came to the other men during a charge by the In- 
dians, and was wounded in the knee by a bullet. Besides him, 
Crowder and Givins were both wounded in the arm. 

There were some squaws in the fight, and they used bows and 
shot arrows into the wagon time and again, sticking them into 
the wagon sheet and wagon bed. During the hottest part of the 
fight, when so many men were being killed and wounded, Mc- 
Donald said he was wounded, but an examination of his person 
failed to find a scratch. The Indians captured the wagon in 
which the dead body of Andres lay, and carried it off and scalped 
the unfortunate man. Mr. Mann's wagon was also ransacked 
and a lot of beef taken out ; also his gun, which he failed to get 
in his hurried search when the fight first commenced. It was a 
fine rifle, and cost $25. Mr. Mann had no gun during all this 
trying time, except as a comrade was shot and could no longer 
continue the fight. He made many narrow escapes from the balls 
which were constantly hitting the wagon. One rifle ball passed 
through his hair, but did not break the skin on his head. Mr. 
Mann had shot a beef with his gun the day before and had not 
loaded it, thinking he would do that when he got to camp, so the 
Indians had no chance to shoot his gun on account of their 
powder being too coarse. They loaded, however, and tried time 
and again that night to shoot it. 

The fight commenced as the sun was setting, and the Indians 
stayed around and shot at the wagons at intervals until 2 o'clock 

JOHN L. MANN. 17.1 

in the morning. The brave Polander lived on through most of 
the night, but finally succumbed to the terrible wound which he 
had received. During the night Mr. Mann cut a hole through 
the wagon sheet, so he could tell something about the Indians 
and shoot when occasion offered. During these times he could 
hear the Indians popping caps on his gun, trying to fire it at 
the wagon, but could not do so on account of the coarse powder, 
which would not go down into the small tube of the rifle. Late 
in the night the Indians quit firing, and only occasionally shot 
arrows. Mr. Mann said to the men, "The Indians are out of 
ammunition for the guns and will soon quit and go off, and we 
will be saved.*' 

Soon after this the Indians went into camp about 400 yards 
off, and building fires proceeded to cook and eat the beef which 
they had taken from Mann's wagon. It was a" long and grewsome 
night the survivors of this fearful fight spent in the wagons 
among the dead men and hundreds of savages camped near, 
whose fires they could plainly see. When daylight came, however, 
not an Indian was in sight. The dead one who had lain near 
the wagon at dark was gone. Many other Indians were seen to 
fall during the fight, but had all been carried away during the 
night. Not seeing any Indians in sight, Charley Hill got out of 
the wagon, and taking his gun ascended a small hill near by to 
take a look. This was the hill behind which most of the Indians 
were concealed the evening before. As soon as Charley arrived 
at the crest of the ridge he saw some mounted Indians coming 
towards him, and at once ran back pursued by them, shouting 
as he came, "The Indians are coming again, boys !" He was fired 
at before reaching the wagons, and one ball just barely missed 

Four of the Indians went up the road in the direction the 
wagons came from, and the others went back out of gunshot. Mr. 
Mann now left the wagon and went and turned his ox loose, 
which had stood there all night yoked to the dead one. The In- 
dians had taken off the balance of the teams from the other 
wagons, and Mann said they could have this one, too. The ox 
commenced eating grass, like that was all he was thinking about 
during the night. As soon as he fed out of gunshot of the 
wagons the Indians got him. Some of the oxen had been turned 


loose from the wagons in which the men were fighting to prevent 
them from moving them, and all were taken by the Indians. 

Besides the three wagons that were behind there was also a 
train of Mexican carts, and about 9 o'clock seven mounted Mexi- 
cans made their appearance, riding ahead of the carts. The 
Americans thought they were another band of Indians and al- 
most gave up hope, but at once made preparations to fight an- 
other battle. They were greatly relieved and encouraged when 
the horsemen came up to them. They now explained the situa- 
tion to the Mexicans, and they sent a runner back to hurry up 
the carts. The Indians had seen the Mexican train coming and 
had left. The Mexicans were not aware of this, and made ready 
to help the Americans to fight them. The white men during the 
night had brought two of the wagons up and had stopped them 
one on each side of the one they were fighting from, which afforded 
great protection and no doubt saved the lives of some of the men, 
as many balls and arrows struck these empty wagons. The In- 
dians had got two, and carried them off a distance. The Mexi- 
cans moved the wagons around in a triangle and piled up rocks 
between the spokes, fixing for a regular seige. Jim Fisk was in 
charge of the Mexican train, and when he came sent a Mexican 
after the soldiers at Beaver Lake, but he met them coming this 
way and they got to the scene of the battle a little after dark. 
Next day the soldiers took the trail of the Indians, but never 
caught up with them. The teamsters were very much in hope 
they could get their own oxen back, and blamed the soldiers for 
not following faster and further. 

The dead men were buried on the spot where the battle was 
fought. Brown and the blacksmith were both shot through the 
heart, and the Polander was hit lower down. Andres, as before 
stated, was struck in the throat. Dr. Lyons was behind with some 
other carts, and when he came up gave Mann a fine red blanket, 
as he was in his shirt sleeves and had nothing to sleep on. The 
Indians had pillaged his wagon, and taken everything he had. 
The doctor took this blanket from around his own shoulders and 
gave it to Mann. When the other three wagons came up one 
man had a small one, and this was taken to pieces and placed 
in Mann's wagon and the team hitched to the latter, and his 
wagon carried along in that way. The balance of the wagons 
were left until Nat Lewis could send for them. Mr. Mann gave 

JOHN L. MANN. 177 

the teamster $'Zo to bring his wagon in the way described to Fort 
Inge, on the Leona, just below the present town of Uvalde, in 
Uvalde County. Mr. Mann tried to get pay from the govern- 
ment for the loss of his team, but failed. 

He now went back to Haby's and made a crop, and selling his 
corn, bought another team and commenced freighting and made 
plenty of money. In 1853 he married Miss Magdalena Burrell' 
and stayed one more year with the Habys, and then moved to* 
where he lives now, on the Medina., above Castroville, and built 
a log house. He has a good residence now and a fine farm, and 
has plenty, although he has lost a great deal of stock from In- 
dian depredations. He was with Mr. Charobiny the day his 
house was robbed and Mrs. Charobiny carried away captive. He 
says when they arrived at the house the yard was covered with 
feathers where the Indians had ripped the bedticks and scattered 
them and took the cloth along. 

The writer received a hearty welcome at the house of Mr. 
Mann, and was entertained in the old-time frontier hospitality. 
May he live long to enjoy the fruits of his labors, and rest in 
peace at last. 




Came to Texas in 1846. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Habersham County, 
Georgia, on the 23d of January, 1821. When 17 years of age 
he enlisted in the army under General Jesup to fight the Semi- 
nole Indians. They had made a break from the swamps of 
Florida and ravaged the lower part of Georgia. As soon as an 
organized force went against them they retreated back into the 
swamps and everglades of Florida, and thence the army followed 
them. In the Walklesassy swamp a hard battle was fought and 
an Indian town burnt. Mr. Watson was wounded in the left 
shoulder by a ball during the battle, and Sergeant Jennings of 
his company was killed. The ball struck him in the head, cut- 
ting his hat band. A negro man was captured who was with 
the Indians, and the soldiers sent him to the widow Jennings of 
Georgia as a gift. Seventy-five Indians were killed and wounded. 
Mr. Watson was in many skirmishes during the balance of the 

He came to Texas in 1846 and first settled in eastern Texas, 
but moved from there to Llano County. He soon after joined John Williams' company of minute men for frontier pro- 
tection. Dave Cowan was first lieutenant and his brother Gid 
was second. While this company was in service the Indians 
made a raid on the San Saba and killed a man named Jackson, 
his wife, and one daughter, and carried off two of the children — 
a girl and a boy — captives. The minute men got on the trail and 
followed it to near the Wichita Mountains, where they met the 
two little captives coming on the back track. They said the In- 
dians left them in camp and ran off after some game which came 
near camp, and they left also and were trying to get back home. 
The party turned back here and carried the children home. They 
were entirely naked when discovered. Another band of Indians 
was also followed, supposed to be the same ones, and overtaken 
at the head of the Llano. In the fight which ensued the chief and 
his squaw were killed. 

On one occasion, while Mr. Watson was in his field at work, 

ROBERT WATSON. ,... 179 

he was cut off from the house by a baud of Indians. His only 
weapon was a sixshooter, but with it he stood them off until his 
son could come to his assistance with a Henn^ rifle, and a lively 
fight then took place. Several neighbors had penned cattle at 
his home the previous night, and were still there, and some of 
them came and helped him in the battle. These were Charley 
Roberts, Bud (his son), and William Higgins. Charley Roberts 
had his horse killed, and one of the Indians had his killed near 
the corner of the fence. William Higgins killed one Indian, and 
several were hit by Mr. Watson. 

About the year 1873 a noted Indian fight took place at the 
Pack Saddle Mountain. Mr. Watson was not in the fight, but 
was near by and knew the men who participated in it. The Pack 
Saddle Mountain in Llano County derived its name from the 
peculiar shape it assumed at a distance, and which resembled a 
pack saddle. During a raid by Indians eighteen of them camped 
in the gap of the mountains and remained there to cook some 
meat of beef cattle they had killed. Five cow-hunters discovered 
them, and at once set about to give them battle. They were 
Robert Brown, Stephen Moss, William Moss, Eli Lloyd, and one 
whose name is not now remembered. The men were fearless, ad- 
vanced boldly into the gap, and at once charged them. William 
Moss was in the lead when they ran in among the Indians, and 
was soon shot through with a bullet and was supposed to be 
mortally wounded. He moved back and dismounted from his 
horse, but the other men stayed with him and continued the 
battle. The Indians would charge them and fire, but always re- 
tired from the fire of the white men. This lasted for some time, 
until Lloyd and the man whose name is not known were both 
wounded with bullets. Only two men were now unhurt, but they 
were not dismayed and still held their position, the wounded 
men who were able assisting by loading guns or pistols. The In- 
dians were badly hurt, too, and several of their braves lay dead 
on the mountain and others were sorely wounded. They finally 
gave up the fight and left the mountain, and the settlers made 
their way back home, carrying Moss, who was badly hurt. The 
ball had struck him in front and lodged in his back. A doctor 
named Smith cut it out, and he finally recovered after a close 
pull, as did also the other two wounded men. 

Mr. Watson was in one fight at the head of the Little Llano 


in which two Indians were killed. Captain Williams was in com- 
mand. He was afterwards killed by Indians in Baby Head Gap r 
between Cherokee Creek and the Llano. He was on his way to 
Austin with a drove of cattle, and was cut off here and killed. 
One of his men also suffered the same fate. Before any settle- 
ments were made in Kimble County, where Junction City is now,. 
Mr. Watson moved and settled just above the present town at a 
place called "The Boggs." On one occasion while here he was 
out bear hunting on the north prong in the rocks and cedar- 
brakes, and suddenly came upon a camp of three Indians. They 
were camp-keepers for a larger party, and were engaged in mak- 
ing arrows. At the sight of the white man they sprang to their 
feet and ran before Mr. Watson could bring his rifle down on 
them. In a few jumps they were out of sight. Watson did not 
inspect the camp, but at once retraced his steps and soon after, 
in a few days at least, went to the nearest settlers and returned 
with reinforcements. The Indians had not returned, and the 
camp was as he had left it. In the camp were found three shields, 
three bridles, three lariats, a soldier's saber, cap, and cape, and 
also his scalp. There was also one woman's scalp. Her hair was 
long and black, while that of the soldier was short and light. 
There was the picture of a white boy painted in the center of 
one of the shields, with red garters on. On the head was fast- 
ened a bnnch of hair taken from the scalp of the soldier. The 
writer remembers hearing Coon Taylor tell about finding the 
remains of a soldier in a cave on the North Llano while out there 
with a hunting party. This might have been the man. His com- 
rades may have found his remains and placed them in the 
cave, as many such incidents happened during the frontier days. 
Not long after this incident Mr. Watson moved back to the set- 
tlements on account of the Indians. He now lives at Utopia r 
Sabinal Canyon, Uvalde County. 



Came to Texas in 1846. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Bigenbaeh, Prussia, 
sixteen miles from the Belgian line, in 1822. In 1816, and also 
prior to that time, many immigrants from Alsace and other 
points near the Belgian frontier were coming to America and set- 
tling on the frontier of Texas, being led hither by Henry Castro. 

In March, 1846, Mr. Weynand, in company with about 200 
other colonists, started for the promised land, where they were 
told they could build up happy homes and have all the land they 
wanted. The colonists were delayed six weeks at Antwerp, and 
then set sail on the American ship Bangor. They were seventy- 
two clays, crossing the ocean. A boy was born on board the 
ship during the time, and was named after the ship. One of the 
party, Jacob Gold, was taken very sick and was left on the coast 
of the Belgian channel. A purse was made up for him to pay 
•expenses during his sickness. He recovered and came on to the 
colony, and lived to be an old man and a veteran of the Mexican 
war, and died below San Antonio. The ship Bangor landed at 
Port Lavaca, on the coast of Texas, and the colonists scattered. 
Some came on west to the colonies, while others obtained work 
along the coast country. The mosquitoes were very numerous, 
and the travel-worn people presented a forlorn aspect as they 
■stood grouped around the fires in the smoke, with blankets around 
them, when they were first put ashore. 

Mr. Weynand obtained work from the government at $1 per 
day. Being a young man and without family, he did very well. 
On the first morning he presented himself for work after being 
employed the man in charge asked him if he had eaten breakfast. 
Xot understanding the language well, at a venture he said no. 
He was then directed to the eating quarters, and was told to tell 
the cook to give him breakfast. Thinking this was something he 
had to bring to his employer, he delivered the message in the best 
English he could command. He was greatly surprised when he 
was told to sit down and eat. Not wishing to cause any more 


confusion he did so, although it had not been many minutes since 
he had eaten a hearty meal. 

When his time was out he hired a man to bring his effects to 
Castroville, then recently settled by colonists, twenty-five miles 
west from San Antonio. The price charged for his freight by ox 
team was $3 per hundred pounds. He worked here all winter 
for a Frenchman, and in the following spring attempted to make 
a crop, but failed, and was finally taken down sick. The people 
gave him medicine made from some kind of leaves, and he re- 
covered in fourteen days. Mr. Weynand now went below San 
Antonio and hired to a man named Thomas to cut hay. This 
work lasted forty-one days. 

On the 3d day of March, 1847, Mr. Weynand and a ' man 
named Rutinger arrived at D'Hanis, another colony still west of 
Castroville, on Seco Creek. They worked one month clearing 
off town lots, and then entered into a contract with a man to 
make a crop on shares. They had no plows or team, and had to 
plant corn with a hoe. The man Rutinger was still living in 
1898, and was the oldest man in Medina County, being 92 years 
of age. On one occasion seventy-three Comanche Indians rode 
into town. They did not attempt to molest anyone, but took Mr. 
Rutinger *s horse and anything else they took a fancy to. At this 
time the colonists only had meat and water to subsist upon. One 
of the Indians came and sat down beside Mr. Weynand, and said 
he was a Mexican, on account of the big wide hat he wore. The 
Comanches were then at war with the Mexicans. 

Not being successful in making any money farming, these 
two primitive tillers of the soil went back to Castroville to get 
work. Rutinger finally went to San Antonio and worked for a 
man named Reese. 

By this time the war was going on between the United States 
and Mexico, and Mr. Weynand enlisted in the American army at 
San Antonio. His command was the Twelfth infantry, Company 
E, Captain Welsh. The lieutenant was named White, and Mr. 
Weynand says he was a splendid man. The regiment was com- 
manded by Colonel Bonham. The lieutenant-colonel was named 

On June 2, 1847, the command started to New Orleans, and 
from that place embarked for Vera Cruz. At the latter place 
the regiment was kept for quite a while, and the men drilled and 


practiced firing. Here also many of the men were taken sick, and 
only forty out of eighty of Welsh's men were fit for duty. Gen- 
eral Scott was moving towards the City of Mexico, and 200 of 
the troops at Vera Cruz were ordered to follow in his rear as a 
rear guard. Mr. Weynand was with this guard, and says they 
suffered a great deal on the route. Besides having to fight almost 
daily with scattered bands of Mexican troops, rations were short, 
and the men had to subsist on crackers and berries. They finally 
turned and went back to Vera Cruz. Here they were met by 
4000 American troops under General Lane, a very young man, 
Mr. Weynand said. These troops had 300 wagons and plenty 
of provisions, and all set out together after General Scott. At 
Jalapa they met Colonel Lawley and his men. Just before get- 
ting to the town, and not far from the national bridge, while in 
camp one night firing was heard in the direction of the bridge, 
and next morning when the command moved on a dead cavalry- 
man was found on the bridge. He had been sent back by Colonel 
Lawley to see what delayed the troops in the rear, and was killed 
by some Mexicans who were ambushing the bridge to cut off 
small detachments of American troops. The clothing had been 
stripped from the body of the dead trooper. The troops moved 
on and came to the pass of Cerro Gordo, wmere General Scott had 
just fought a battle and lost many of his men. Many signs of 
the desperate struggle were seen. The entire command now went 
on to Perote, and from there to Puebla. All of the beeves had 
now been killed and consumed, and short rations prevailed again. 

A German who could speak but very little English told Gen- 
eral Lane that a Mexican army was close at hand. Firing was 
soon heard, and General Lane ordered the troops to move round a 
hill in the direction from whence it came. They did so, and 
came upon the town of Humantla. The advance guard was fight- 
ing, and the balance of the troops joined in and the battle soon 
became general. The troops went from house to house, breaking 
them open and routing the Mexicans on all sides, who soon aban- 
doned the town and commenced a retreat. The dragoons pursued 
them, led by Lieut. -Col. Samuel H. Walker, the famous Texan. 
In this running fight out of town Colonel Walker was killed, and 
Mr. Weynand saw his body on a horse as it was being brought 
back to town by his men. 

After the battle manv of the soldiers went into the saloons and 


became so badly intoxicated and scattered about town that some 
were left when the army moved. The Mexicans captured these 
and kept them four months. On the march Mr. Weynand was 
in the rear guard behind the train. One day firing was heard 
ahead, and they soon came upon the wagon-master and one team- 
ster badly wounded with buckshot, and a doctor attending to 
them. They were shot from ambush, but both recovered. 

At Puebla quite a battle was fought, eighteen men being killed 
out of one company in a close fight on the plaza. Here part of 
the troops to which Mr. Weynand belonged stayed nine weeks, 
•and were constantly harassed by the Mexicans. It was neces- 
sary to fire upon them every day with cannon to keep them at a 
distance. The main part of the army had joined General Scott. 
When the troops left here the man who shot the wagon-master 
and teamster was caught and swung to a limb. There were 2000 
men on this march, and they made thirty miles in one day, which 
is far above the average for infantry. The roads were very good. 
One one occasion the Mexicans fired on the troops with cannon 
from a ridge. The cavalry charged up the ridge, and soon car- 
bine firing was heard. Infantry was ordered to their support, 
but when they arrived the fight was over and threee dead Mexi- 
cans were on the ground. The cavalry went in advance of the 
train, and one day after a creek was crossed sharp firing was 
heard, and when the train and rear infantry came upon the 
scene forty dead Mexicans lay on a very small space of ground, 
where the cavalry had killed them. 

When the command arrived at a small town in a. valley at 
night about 9 o'clock they stopped on a hill and planted cannon, 
and the infantry lay down. Soon, however, the artillerymen 
commenced firing on the town, and before daylight an advance 
was ordered and the place captured. Some of the soldiers at 
once proceeded to rob it, and one of them went into a church and 
got a suit of clothing which belonged to the priest. It was very 
fine, trimmed with gold lace, etc. The captain of the company 
to which the soldier belonged dispossessed him of the fancy suit, 
and then placed him in jail. 

Before the American army got into the City of Mexico they 
had to descend a very steep place with lakes on both sides, and 
the men had to keep the road in single file, which made a very 
extended line. Here the Mexicans had planted a cross, and said 


they would fight until all were killed; but they failed to do so 
on the approach of the United States troops. The city was taken 
by storm, and the army stayed four months. They were drilled 
every day on a prairie by General Smith. Mr. Weynand was 
under his command when the army left Mexico. 

The writer will state here that in his interview with Mr. Wey- 
nand notes were taken, and the many stirring scenes he passed 
through during the compaign in Mexico are given as he now, at 
this late day, remembers them. At that time he could not under- 
stand much English, and fails to remember the given names of 
his officers, and also the names of many towns through which 
they passed. 

"When the war was over the troops came back 300 miles, and 
then broke up into detachments to take shipping for the United 
States. Mr. Weynand came on with 500 troops to New Orleans. 
They made the trip from Vera Cruz in nineteen days. Five men 
died on the way, and some in New Orleans. They were paid off 
here and discharged. Weynand and eleven other men hired a 
ship for $100 and came to Galveston. From here he and a com- 
panion came up to Houston in a boat, where they bought a 
wagon and yoke of oxen and set out for New Braunfels, in Comal 
-County. The wagon had no bed on it, but his partner made a 
rough one that would answer their purpose. They were one 
month making the trip. They only rested here two days and 
then came on to San Antonio, arriving there the last day of 
August, 184.8. 

Mr. Weynand had a town lot and twenty acres of. land at 
D^Hanis, and now told his companion, whose name was Charles 
Frederick, that he would go out to his land to make a crop, and 
ior him to stay in San Antonio and work and send supplies out 
to him. He again failed to make anything farming, and had 
to go back to San Antonio to get work. His companion obtained 
a job working on the Alamo, but unfortunately fell from the 
walls one day and was killed. . 

Mr. Weynand now got a bounty of $100 in lieu of 160 acres 
of land which was due him, and with this cash he again tried 
farming, and again failed. In 1849 he went back to D'Hanis. 
In 1850 he once more tried his hand as a tiller of the soil, and 
this time made a good crop and times began to get better. The 
Indians were not so bad, as the Texas rangers had come, and were 


stationed near the town on Seco Creek, at a point now the home 
of Mr. Lords Rothe. 

After the rangers left United States troops came and built 
Fort Lincoln, just below the old camp of the rangers. 

Mr. Weynancl now bought land and built a house upon it on 
the east bank of the Seco, just opposite Fort Lincoln. The 
troops at the fort were under the command of Major Longstreet, 
afterwards the famous Confederate general. Second in command 
was Lieutenant Dodge, for whom Dodge City, Kansas, was 
named. By this time Mr. Weynand had a family. In 1866 his 
son Herbert, George Miller, and August Rothe went out on a 
cow hunt and camped in Hondo Canyon, twenty miles from 
home, and stayed there several days. One morning ten Indians 
came upon them, killed George Miller, and took young Wey- 
nand captive. He was but 12 years of age. Eothe alone made 
his escape and told the news. Mr. Weynand made many trips in 
search of his boy, but of no avail ; he never saw him again. He 
heard once there was a captive white boy among some Indians in 
Mexico at San Fernando, and at once set out for that place, 
paying large sums of money for guides. His horse became sick 
in Mexico so that he could not travel, and he had to delay several 
days, and as soon as the horse recovered a Mexican stole him 
and he had to buy another. Mr. Weynand could not find his son. 
The captive boy was not his, and he gave up the search. Before 
starting back home Mr. Weynand discovered that corn was cheap 
there, and bought ninety bushels for 33^ cents, and hired some 
Mexicans who were coming to San Antonio with wagons to trans- 
port it for him. For this he paid them $15, and sold the corn 
at home for $2 per bushel. 

Mr. Weynand has been very unfortunate with his children. 
He had a large family, eleven boys and six girls. One of his boys 
died, another was stolen by Indians, one was accidentally killed 
by a friend when he was 19 years old, one of the same age was- 
killed by a horse falling on him, another died a natural death, 
one had his arm shot off, and a daughter caught fire and burned 
to death. 

Mrs. W^eynand, who before marriage was Miss Angelina Ney,. 
is a daughter of John Ney, whose father was a nephew of Na- 
poleon's great field marshal, and fought under him at Water- 
loo. She was born in Prussia., six miles from the French line,. 


at Diilingen, and came to San Antonio in 1846 as part of Cas- 
tro's colony. When the remains of Col. Sam Walker were brought 
from Mexico for burial at San Antonio Miss Angelina was living 
there with the family of Mr. Geo. Paschal, father of Congress- 
man Thomas Paschal, and helped to make the wreaths that were 
placed on the coffin of the hero of Humantla. Thomas J. Pas- 
chal at that time was two years of age. 



Born in Texas in 1849, 

On the Patterson irrigating ditch, near Rio Frio postoffice, in 
Frio Canyon, Bandera County, lives Mr. John W. Patterson, one 
of the early settlers of southwest Texas. He was born in Smith 
County, Texas, in 1849, and came west with his father, Mr. New- 
man Patterson, when quite young, and first settled on the Sabinal 
River, six miles below the present Sabinal station on the Sunset 
road. While Mr. Patterson has had quite an interesting experi- 
ence on the frontier, the most important was the part he took in 
helping to rescue a little white girl who was a captive among the 
Indians. At the time of this Indian raid in which the little girl 
was captured Mr. Patterson was living in Frio Canyon, not far 
from the spot where he now resides. The Indians on this occasion, 
which was about 1876, had been down the Guadalupe River 
on a big raid, and when ten miles below Kerrville came upon Mr. 
W. R. Terry, who with his family had just settled on Verde 
Creek, not far from its confluence with the Guadalupe. The 
Indians came upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, and Mr. 
Terry was killed without any chance to defend himself. He was 
a short distance from their camp, making shingles to cover his 
house. Two of the children were also killed, and Mrs. Terry fled 
from the place and made her escape. She was repeatedly fired 
at, and both bullets and arrows cut her clothing. She avoided 
the savages by leaping down a bluff. One little girl 8 years of 
age was carried off by the savages. The Indians, after scalping 
and mutilating the body of Mr. Terry, continued their murderous 
journey and succeeded in capturing a negro boy further down 
the country, and then turned a southwest course towards the Frio 
and Sabinal canyons. The next place they were seen was on 
Little Blanco, between Sabinal and Frio canyons. Here they 
came upon Mr. Chris Kelley and came near getting him. He 
succeeded in escaping them by leaving his horse, which they 
captured. The next place they struck and made themselves 
known was at the mouth of Cherry Creek, where it empties into 
the Frio. Here they came upon the cow camp of Ed Meyers, 


John Avant, and William Pmitt. The men were away on a 
cow hunt, and the Indians robbed the camp and took off all the 
horses that were there. They then turned and traveled north- 
west, crossing the Frio Eiver about where Mr. Joseph Van Pelt 
now lives. The cowmen on their return to the pillaged camp took 
up the trail of the Indians and were joined on the route by other 
settlers, two of whom were Mr. Joe Van felt and a man named 
Martin. The Upper Frio men who lived on the Patterson ditch 
did not at this time get the news of the raid, but received it later 
in the day and began collecting to join in the pursuit. Before 
they got ready to start, the negro boy, who had made his escape 
from the Indians, came to where the Frio men were assembling. 
He said the Indians had traveled up Elm Creek, and then, as- 
cending a high mountain overlooking the Frio valley, saw houses 
in the distance and stopped to look at them, neglecting to keep an 
eye on the negro boy, who was riding a pony up the mountain in 
their rear. Seeing their attention attracted to the white settle- 
ment, the sable captive slid off his horse and made his escape 
through the rocks and thick brush. He then told of the captive- 
white girl, and said she was taken from the Guadalupe valley. 
He was going to mill, he said, when the Indians came upon him. 
The negro had many stripes on his person where his inhuman 
captors had whipped him ; he was also nearly starved. This tale 
of the negro, and the little white girl still being a captive among 
the Comanches, lent new impetus to the movements of the men, 
and they mounted their horses with alacrity and set off, deter- 
mined to rescue her or perish in the attempt. Night set in dark 
and foggy before the trail was reached, and the settlers had to 
camp to await the light of day to prosecute the pursuit. Next 
morning they found the trail on the divide at the head of Buffalo 
Creek, between Main and Dry Frio. The trail led one mile 
west and then turned north. The settlers could now see to their 
left into Dry Frio Canyon, and to their surprise and great joy 
discovered the Indians over there and traveling from them down 
Mare Creek towards the river. The men now quit the trail, and 
going down the mountain as best they could, took it up again 
where they saw the Indians, who by this time were out of sight 
again. One reason why they came so soon upon the Indians was 
the fact that the latter had traveled all night in the fog and had 
lost their bearings, and went round in a circle, which brought 


them back by daylight to within a mile of where they had passed 
out the evening before. This fortunate circumstance saved the 
settlers a long and tedious route of trailing, following the devious 
windings of the lost Indians in the fog the previous night. If the 
Indians could have kept a straight course that night it would 
have been a long chase, and they might have succeeded in escap- 
ing the pursuing party. 

Five miles from where the trail was taken up in the valley of 
the Dry Frio they came upon the stolen horses which the In- 
dians had dropped, seeing now that they had to make up for 
lost time. Half a mile further they came to a cedar brake, and 
also upon the Indians, who had stopped in the river and were 
letting their horses drink. The white men present now were only 
five in number, to wit : William Pruitt, John Avant, Lysander 
Avant, Jack Grigsby, and John Patterson. The other settlers 
from below had not joined this party, and were following the 
winding trail. At sight of the Indians the men all raised their 
guns at once and fired hurriedly, without taking a good aim. 
ISTot an Indian fell from his horse, but all dashed furiously out 
of the water to the opposite bank and disappeared amid the rocks 
and cedar. It was evident from the actions of some that they 
were badly hit. One reason, no doubt, of this bad firing was the 
fact that the little white captive was riding behind one of the 
Indians, and some fired high for fear of hitting her. The men 
dashed across the shallow mountain river after the Indians, and 
a wild and desperate chase commenced through the brush and 
over the rocks. The horse being ridden by the Indian and the 
little girl showed signs of weakening as the white men came in 
sight again and crowded close upon them, firing rapidly with 
their Winchesters. The Indian jumped off and mounted behind 
a comrade, and the little girl soon fell from her position to the 
ground. John Patterson was the first man to reach her. She 
was standing on her feet holding the horse by a rope in one hand, 
and in the other tightly clasping a small piece of blanket upon 
which she had been riding. She was badly scared when the men 
dashed up to her. The yelling, firing, desperate ride through 
the brakes, and the whistling bullets had completely unnerved 
her, and she stood shaking like, an aspen leaf. The kind words 
of the men, however, who told her not to be afraid, and to stay 
where she was until they caught the Indians, had a soothing 


effect, and she said she would not leave. The Indians were again 
overtaken as they were ascending a hill and a rapid fire was 
opened upon them, and the rear one, who was the chief, had his 
horse killed. The chief himself seemed to hear a charmed life. 
Ten shots were fired at him as he was making off on foot, hut 
he kept steadily on, carrying a long lance in his hand. He had 
part of a wagon sheet, which had been taken from the cow camp, 
wrapped about his body, and this he finally threw off. John 
Avant, to make sure of close shots, dismounted from his horse, 
and resting his elbow on his knee, fired twice as the chief arrived 
at the crest of the ridge; but he kept on and went out of sight. 
The men now crossed a gorge and went on up the mountain, 
hoping at least to find the Indian at whom so many shots had 
been fired. The covering which had been discarded by the Indian, 
and which the white men picked up, was found to be very bloody 
and had nine bullet holes in it. The Indians outnumbered the 
whites about two to one, but made scarcely any resistance, and 
seemed bent only on flight. 

In going up the hill John Patterson's girth broke, but he let 
the saddle slide off without dismounting and continued the chase 
bareback. As they could see nothing more of the Indians, 
after going some distance and having things badly scattered, 
they took the back track to where the little girl was left. Another 
party of trailers were met on mules and played-out horses, and 
one of them had the girl .behind him. She was where the first 
party had left her, and the second party had discovered her by 
being on the trail of the Indians. . Both parties now camped to- 
gether to rest and eat something. The little girl was nearly 
starved and ate ravenously, never taking a piece of bread from 
her month after the first bite until it was all gone. The last 
band of trailers had also brought the horses along which the In- 
dians had abandoned on Mare Creek. 

•After resting their horses John Patterson and some others 
went back to see if they could find the wounded chief. Not far 
from the spot where they last shot him they heard a groan, which 
was shortly repeated, but the rocks and brush were so thick that 
it was impossible to find the spot that it emanated from, and they 
were again compelled to abandon the search, as night was coming 
on. Next morning Patterson and John Avant went back again 
and found where the Indian had lain on some cedar limbs which 


had been broken off and a bed made of them. These limbs were 
very bloody, but the body conld not be found. It is evident the 
Indian died here and that some of his party had returned and 
carried him away, and likely made the bed of cedar boughs for 

During the absence of Avant and Patterson, the man who 
picked up the little girl wanted to leave the crowd and take her 
on to the settlement, but was prevented by William Pruitt, who 
said they would all go back together. The little girl said that 
during the windings of the Indians in the foggy night the horse 
of one of them fell off a bluff and broke the Indian's leg. They 
then divided their force, one party going off with the crippled 
Indian. The negro boy said there were fifteen of them when all 
together. The white men afterwards found the place where the 
accident happened, and said the fall was twenty feet. 

After the return to the settlement a messenger was dispatched 
to the Guadalupe to find out about the little girl, and her mother 
came after her. The captive girl lived to be nearly grown, and 
then died. Her mother and Joel Terry, her brother, now live in 
this country. 

After this raid the Indians came again into Frio Canyon and 
stole two horses belonging to a man named Sawyer, who was 
afterwards killed in Dry Frio Canyon, some say by the noted 
Bill Longley. 

The Indians then went down on the Sabinal below the moun- 
tains and killed a Mexican sheep herder. They then started back 
towards the mountains and came through Eoss Kennedy's pas- 
ture and stole a horse from William Adams. Then they came on 
across to the Dry Frio. John Patterson and several others took 
the trail of the Indians and followed it over into Nueces Canyon. 
Here they came upon two men named Goodman and Wells, who 
had been chased and shot at by the Indians. They now joined 
the party in pursuit. Wells was a great bear hunter. The trail' 
led up the Nueces and was very rough, — no roads or settlements 
in those days. Some of the men had to return on account of 
their horses giving out. Patterson and seven others were loath 
to give up the pursuit, and went on. Their provisions, however, 
soon played out, and left them in a bad fix. They were many 
miles from airy settlement, and entirely unacquainted with the 
country. They knew that by going in a certain direction they 


would strike the Fort (Mark road, and by taking either end get 
to some place where provisions could be procured. They could 
kill game and eat it without bread and keep from suffering, so 
there was no uneasiness on that score, and they continued the 
Indian hunt. Before coming to the Fort Clark road they came 
upon an Indian campfire which had been but a short time before 
abandoned. Five miles further on, in the draws of Devil's 
River, they came upon the Indians in camp in a large liveoak 
mott about 500 yards in extent and very brushy. The horses of 
the Indians were grazing in the edge of the thicket, and John 
Patterson called the attention of the men to something in a tree 
and smoke in the thicket. The men now circled around the mott 
to the left and saw an Indian coming, and Patterson at once 
shot at him. The Indian returned the fire and then ran into the 
thicket. The settlers kept on around, and soon saw two more 
Indians on foot running a horse with a pair of hobbles on his 
neck, which they were trying to catch hold of to stop him. They 
could run as fast as the pony, and likely would have caught him, 
but at this time were fired on and ran back to cover. The In- 
dians, it seemed, wanted to get off as light as possible with the 
whites, and so after a time drove all the stolen horses out of the 
thicket and gave them a start towards the white men, as much as 
to say, "Take your horses, now, and leave/' 

The pioneers were not satisfied with this, and still guarded the 
covert by placing men on regular watch. John Avant went round 
on the south side of the thicket and set fire to the grass, trying to 
burn them out, but they would not come. One of the white men 
saw two persons coming up the creek and called Patterson's at- 
tention to them, who at once pronounced them Indians, and set 
about to cut them off from the thicket. They were Indian hunt- 
ers, and had a pack horse loaded with buffalo meat. Some of the 
men followed Patterson, but the Indians, discovering them, 
dropped their pack horse and ran. Patterson pursued and got 
close enough to shoot, and was reaching to pull his Winchester 
out of the scabbard, when his horse stepped in a hole and fell. 
Patterson was thrown violently to the ground and his horse ran 
off. The Indians escaped, but the whites got the buffalo meat, 
which came to them very opportunely on account of their want 
of provisions. 


The settlers now held a council to determine what to do. Half 
of the men wanted to go into the thicket and fight the Indians in 
there, but the balance objected. It was then agreed that those 
who did not want to go in were to hold the horses of the others, 
who would make an advance on the Indian encampment. The 
men went in shooting and making all the noise they could, and 
the Indians ran away in great alarm, so when the camp was 
reached it was deserted. The booty was considerable, and the 
men had to make several trips to bring it all out. It consisted 
of eighteen blankets, one buffalo robe, one saddle, four shields, 
two head-dresses, one microscope, and a pass from the Indian 
agent at Fort Sill for these Indians to go on a buffalo hunt. The 
pass was old, and here these fellows were down in South Texas, 
out of the buffalo range proper, killing people and stealing horses. 
The things were divided among the men, and the shield, which 
John Patetrson got, had a woman's scalp attached to it. They 
also got thirty-five head of horses and two mules. 

Some of the stock belonged to the Allen brothers and some to 
Brown and Sawyer. They also found in the camp 500 smooth 
sticks for making arrows. These the men broke. There were 
nine Indians in this party, and the number of white men who 
routed them was eight. Their names are as follows : John Pat- 
terson, John Avant, Dick Humphreys, Lon Sawyer, L. L. Green, 
Dave Wells, Goodman, and A. Blackburn. The four first named 
are the ones who went into the thicket and captured the camp. 
Sawyer and Patterson got the head-dresses. They were gorgeous 
affairs, having a row of feathers reaching to the ground, some- 
what like a Sioux war bonnet. 

These men deserve a great deal of credit for this trip, and 
their perseverance and courage to penetrate a wild country, in- 
fested with savages, with so small a number, and then invest and 
rout the savages from their stronghold in the manner in which 
they did, and bring off the booty and recaptured stock. 

They were gone fifteen days and were nine days without bread 
— three days on buffalo meat alone. A true frontiersman knows 
how to take care of himself and not starve when out. 



Came to Texas in 1849. 

Mr. John Reinhart, who has a fine ranch on Big Seco, in Me- 
dina County, is one of the pioneers of western Texas. He was 
born in Bavaria, town of Orb, in 1832. Came to New Orleans 
in 1848, and to New Brannfels, Comal County, Texas, in 1849. 
Moved from there to Cibolo River, and thence to the Seco Creek, 
near IVHanis, in 1854. In those days the young German immi- 
grants who had no families did not rernain in the colonies long 
at a time, but sought work anywhere they could find it. Some 
worked for the government when Fort Lincoln was established 
on the Seco, and others drove teams or cattle, and in fact did 
whatever their hands could find to do. 

About the time that Mr. Reinhart came to Seco, Mr. John 
Dnnlap was in the country buying up a drove of cattle under a 
government contract, to be delivered at Fort Lancaster, which 
was situated at the mouth of Liveoak Creek, where it empties 
into the Pecos River. Mr. Dunlap lived at Fort Clark. As soon 
as the cattle were collected a start was made for the fort. Mr. 
Reinhart had been employed by Dunlap to help deliver the cattle 
at their destination. Situated as Fort Lancaster was then, far 
out on the extreme frontier, with no settlements between, and in- 
fested with hostile Indians, such an undertaking was extremely 
hazardous, but there are always found men who will brave any 
danger and start anywhere. There were but three men in the 
party to make this long, dangerous trip — Reinhart, Dunlap, and 
Capt. Joseph Richarz. 

Nothing occurred to make the trip of more than normal inter- 
est until they reached Howard's Wells, out on the plains. Here, 
just before going down into the valley with the cattle, they dis- 
covered a man on a mountain, and at once began to proceed with 
great caution, fearing it was an Indian, and that they would lose 
the cattle. The man in question, however, was a white man, 
watching the road back towards the east for help. His party had 
camped the night before at the wells, and that present morning 
had been attacked by a large body of Indians, and all of their 


horses and mules taken off. There were nine white men and five 
wagons of this party. Their horses were out grazing with one 
man to watch them, when the Indians made a dash from cover 
to capture the horses. The Indians played a very smart trick 
to get the white men also, and came near being successful. Di- 
viding their force, while still concealed from view behind the 
hills, one party charged upon the lone guard at the horses, and, 
as was expected by the savages, the men at the wagons seized their 
guns and rushed out into the prairie to save the horses and suc- 
cor the guard. The other band of Indians now dashed across the 
open ground on their ponies to cut them off from the protection 
of the wagons. The white men saw this in time, however, and 
retreated back to their position. The guard, who was very well 
mounted, made a wide circle in the prairie, ran around the In- 
dians, and joined his companions. The Indians secured the stock" 
and drove them off, passing within long rifle range of the cha- 
grined owners, who gave them one volley as a parting salute. 
One of these shots took effect on a horse ridden by one of the 
Indians, killing the animal in its tracks and throwing the Apache- 
to the ground. He mounted behind another, however, and they 
all rode away. As the three cattlemen could do nothing for them,, 
having no extra teams, they went on and reported the matter at 
Fort Lancaster, and the commander of that post sent out teams 
belonging to the government and brought the wagons in. 

After delivering his cattle, Dunlap and his two men started 
back together, and when they arrived at the crossing of Devil's 
River met a drove of 150 head of horses. They thought at the 
time that only three Indians were with them. It seemed an easy 
job to rout these, and capture the horses, although they were 
only armed with pistols. They acted upon this impulse and 
charged, but what was their surprise when seven more Indians 
appeared on the other side of the horses. They had been con- 
cealed, and now dismounted and remounted on fresh horses to 
give the trio of white men a battle and chase. The horses ridden 
by the cattlemen were jaded, and the situation began to look 
serious. They at once reversed the matter, turning their charge 
into a retreat. The Indians, however, did not follow them, and 
the white men soon checked up. Dunlap now said: "Boys, I be- 
lieve the guns of those Indians were wet (it had been raining), 
and that was the reason they did not fire or charge us, and we 


can go back and clean them up yet. That would be a good item 
for a newspaper, that three men whipped ten Indians and took 
150 head of horses away from them." So it was agreed, and they 
turned back to have a fight. The Indians saw them coining back, 
.and all left the horses and came yelling and charging upon them. 
Once more they beat a retreat, and continued their flight until 
they were safely ensconced in a big thicket where they could de- 
fend themselves, willing to let the Indians and horses go. The 
Apaches did not pursue far, but soon went back to their horses, 
■and the white men continued their way home, where they arrived 
without further adventures. 

So that the reader who has no experience in such things can 
more readily comprehend the dangers, seen and unseen, which 
•beset the path of the pioneer, I will relate two incidents of this 

In the spring of 1859 Mr. Eeinhart went from his home on the 
Seco to the Comanche waterhole, several miles south from him, 
io look after stock and to kill a deer if chance offered. On the 
way he rode by a large thicket, and on looking back at it saw 
•something move that looked like a deer, and at once raised his 
rifle so as to be ready to shoot if it came into plain view. It was 
-an Indian, however, and thinking from the action of the white 
man that he was discovered, he dodged back from view. Mr. 
"Reinhart was riding a horse which he did not often mount, and 
he was very sensitive to the spur. The settler knew that he saw 
one Indian, and not knowing how many more there were, put 
spurs to his horse in order to make a quick run to a mott of live- 
oak trees, where he could dismount and better stand them off. 
Besides his rifle he had a good revolver. This tender horse he 
rode now commenced to pitch instead of running when he felt the 
spur. This would have been the time for the Indians to have 
made their break for him, for it was all Mr. Eeinhart could do 
fo sit his horse, and he could not have used gun or pistol. He 
finally reached the timber and looked back. Quite a lot of In- 
dians were in view on the edge of the thicket. The reason they 
did not pursue the settler was that they were all on foot, having 
just come in on a raid, and had not picked up any horses yet. 
As they did not follow, Mr. Eeinhart rode off slowly from the 
trees and made a circle back home. 

On the wav back Eeinhart met Jack Wolf, and advised him to 


go home with him and spend the night. This Jack agreed to do, 
and next morning he and Keinhart went np to his brother's, 
Sebastian Wolf, on Huffman's ranch, which was on the Seco, a 
short distance above the present ranch of Mr. Keinhart. The 
three now went back to the thicket where Eeinhart saw the In- 
dians to see what discoveries they could make. The signs there 
showed the Indians to be about ten in number, and that they had 
been secreted while making arrows, and had killed a turkey, the 
feathers of which were profusely scattered around. The Indians 
from this place went down the Seco and stole many horses, among 
which was a very fine one belonging to Billy Doan. Being well 
mounted now, the Indians made themselves heard from in vari- 
ous places. The three white men went on down to D'Hanis and 
told the news of the raid. Huffman and his partner, Sebastian 
Wolf, went west and crossed the Sabinal Eiver not far from the 
present station of the same name. They then made a circle west 
in the prairie. Here this same band of Indians came upon them 
and a desperate running fight took palce, in which the two ranch- 
men were killed. 

It is supposed that the chief rode Billy Doan's horse and 
was killed off him in the fight by Wolf, as his throat was cut 
from ear to ear after he had been killed by arrows. The Indians 
were followed by citizens and defeated in their camp on Blanco 
Creek, and all the horses retaken. 

When John Bowles killed three Indians on the Sabinal, Mr. 
Eeinhart went over to the Bowles ranch and saw the three Indian 
scalps hanging on a clothesline in the yard. 

On another occasion Mr. Eeinhart went deer hunting to a 
noted place called the "cowlick," and while there saw something 
move which he thought might be a deer. On riding nearer to in- 
vestigate, a dove flew up, and thinking this was the object which 
he had observed, rode on in another direction. At the cowlick, 
among other cattle he noticed one of his work oxen, called Tom, 
licking at the bank. It began to rain soon, and Mr. Eeinhart 
went back home by way of the lick, and his steer was still there. 
When he arrived at home himself and gun were wet, and after 
putting on dry clothes he fired off the gun in order to dry and 
cleanse it, A man by the name of Webster was stopping at the 
Eeinhart ranch, and came out to where he was working on his 
gun and told him the cattle had just run home and old Tom was 


shot with an arrow, which was still sticking in him. "Impossi- 
ble !" said Mr. Eeinhart; "I left him a few minutes ago at the 
lick, and nothing was the matter with him then." "Come and 
see/' -said Mr. Webster. It was even so; the cattle were at the 
cow lot badly frightened, and old Tom was running around try- 
ing to get rid of the arrow. He had to be driven into the pen and 
roped and tied before the feathered shaft could be extracted. It 
had penetrated one foot into the paunch. The question was, why 
did not the Indian shoot Reinhart ? He evidently rode near him 
several times, and no doubt it was a glimpse of him he saw when 
he thought he saw a deer and the dove flew up, etc. The only 
solution that offers is that there was only one Indian, and he was 
afraid of the white man's gun and pistol in case he should fail to 
bring him down with his arrow. 

Mr. Webster afterwards sold goods in Uvalde and was one 
night killed and robbed in his store. 

In 1861 Mr. Reinhart joined a ranging company commanded 
by Capt. Chas. de Montel. Their station was at Ranger Springs, 
twelve miles above the present home of Mr. Reinhart, in the 
Seco Valley. On one occasion the Indians made a raid below the 
mountains, and runners were sent to D'Hanis to get men to fol- 
low them. Mr. Reinhart was in D'Hanis at the time, having 
been sent from the ranger camp to bring the mail for the com- 
pany. However, he joined the expedition that was making up to 
follow the Indians. The trail led back to the northwest or west, 
in the direction of Sabinal Canyon. They went to the ranch of 
Ross Kennedy, and from there into the canyon, and took up the 
salt marsh. Near the head of this place the settlers camped on 
the trail about where Mr. Calvin Mitchell's ranch is now. Next 
morning they ascended to the top of the mountains, over which 
the trail led, and taking a look back into the valley saw a small 
squad of the rangers following them. They had been notified 
of the raid and in which direction the Indians were going out. 
The settlers waited until the rangers came up, and all went on 
together. The rangers were under the command of Lieut. Ben 
Patton, and among his men were Jack Davenport, John Kennedy, 
Pete Bowles, Lon Moore, and several others. The Indian trail 
led northwest through a very rough range of mountains. At 
length the trailers came to a cedar brake on the south side of 
the mountain, and Pete Bowles, one of the rangers, went slowlv 


ahead until he could see into a valley beyond. He then pulled 
his horse back quickly and said, "There they are." The Indians 
had camped in the valley on the high ground, between a small 
creek with steep banks and a deep hollow. In their rear was a 
cedar brake. The white men now dismounted, and leaving two 
men with the horses, went round the mountains concealed from 
the view of the Indians, and then came up the creek through the 
brush, still hid from view. The Indians were close to a big spring, 
and there was about an acre of open ground around their camp. 
When the rangers and settlers came up under the bluff they were 
very close to the Indians, but could not see them, but could see 
their horses. The force was now divided and a party went 
round each way. Some of the men crept up the bank and peeped 
over, and could see the blankets of the Indians on the bushes. 
Another cautious step forward and the Indians themselves could 
be seen. Eeinhart now motioned to the men who had not climbed 
up, and indicated with his finger the exact location of the In- 
dians, and also signaled a charge. Both parties now leaped up 
the bank in plain view, and not over fifty yards from the as- 
tonished savages, and commenced a terrific fire from rifles, shot- 
guns, and pistols. The Indians made but little attempt to fight, 
and at once scattered into the cedar brake, followed by a shower 
of bullets which cut the bushes on all sides. After the fusilade 
was over three dead Indians were on the ground, and one was 
trailed some distance by the blood, but could not be found. The 
reason no more Indians were killed was the fact that they had 
only a few jumps to make to get to cover. The Indians had 
cooked a quantity of meat, and were fixing to leave. They had 
their bows and quivers on their backs, and one of them was shoe- 
ing a horse with rawhide. This one looked over the horse's neck 
when the charge was made, and a ranger fired at his head, but hit 
too low and killed the horse. One man who did not live in this 
country, but who joined the scout and was in the fight, cut off the 
ears of the dead Indians and strung them on a string to carry 
back east with him. 

The rangers and settlers now went back to their horses and 
took the back track for home and the ranger camp. 

On one occasion Mr. Eeinhart and others followed a band of 
Indians who had a lot of horses which they had stolen out of the 
settlement. After a long and hard chase they succeeded in re- 


taking the horses without a light, as the Indians left them and 
ran, and they returned with them to DTlanis. The men were 
tired and worn out, and put the stock in the horse lot of John 
Ney, and proceeded to have a good night's rest. The Indians 
had followed the white men back, and that night got the horses 
again and carried them off, to the great surprise of the men when 
they woke up in the morning and realized the situation. They 
followed them again, but this time the Bandera men had taken 
up the trail when it passed through their country, and had over- 
taken the Indians and recaptured the horses. The D'Hanis men 
carried the stock back again, but this time kept better watch 
upon them. 



Came to Texas in 1849. 

Among the pioneers of West Texas who deserve a place in 
Texas history is Capt. H. J. Eicharz, one of the gallant men who 
led the famous Texas rangers against the savages on the frontier, 
and stood between these painted demons and the hearthstones of 
the pioneers. Captain Eicharz was born in 1822 on his father's 
estate, near Cologne, on the Bhine, being a,t this writing (Decem- 
ber, 1898) 76 years of age. His father was second burgomaster 
and head of the municipality of the town of Ella, having now a 
population of 4000 souls; also for a number of years head ad- 
ministrator of Castle House, Ella, the residence of the late Prin- 
cess Louise of Prussia, and up to his death in 1886, at the age 
of 92 years, honorary president of the War Veterans' Volunteer 
Eifles of 1813 and 1815. He was also knight of the Order of the 
Crown of Prussia, an order for meritorious service from the king 
of Prussia and the duke of Saxe-Coburg. 

Captain Eicharz was the eldest son and received a liberal edu- 
cation, first in the town school, and until the age of 16 years at a 
private academy in the city of Dusselclorf. 

At the age of 16 years Captain Eicharz joined the same volun- 
teer rifle legion in which his father served through the wars of 
the allies against Napoleon, and after serving his time out and 
being three times promoted, quit and took a confidential position 
as "commissar" of the chief engineer of the Prince Wilhelm Eail- 
road, in the Prussian district of Berg and Mark. 

In 1848 he took an active part in the revolution against the 
absolution and feudal system, having been elected and commis- 
sioned as captain of a camp of militia and twice as elector for 
the representative of the Frankfurt parliament and house of rep- 
resentants in Berlin. He also took an active part in the bloody 
struggles that followed, and in the meantime married. The 
merciless, reactionary monarchical side being victorious, Captain 
Eicharz chose to go into voluntary exile, rather than to be fusil- 
aded or imprisoned for years in a military fortress. He evaded 
the civil and military officers, had his property sold to a younger 


brother, and arrived safely in Rotterdam. He embarked at Havre, 
France, and arrived in New Orleans in the fall of 1849. The 
voyage across the ocean was disastrous, especially along the coast 
of Africa, and they were finally shipwrecked near St. Thomas, in 
the West Indies, and had to say there two months before they 
could again get shipping. From New Orleans Captain Richarz 
and his wife and two children went to Indianola, on the coast of 
Texas, and from there made their way to the San Antonio River 
and bought 500 acres of land opposite the mission of Espade, 
nine miles below the city of San Antonio. He brought with him 
some Saxon merino rams, which he was lucky enough to save, 
and commenced sheep-raising. He was the first man to import 
this kind of stock to Texas. In the sheep business he had a 
partner named John H. Herndon, of Velasco. 

In 1853 he moved with sheep and cattle to Fort Lincoln, in 
Medina County, fifty miles west of San Antonio. The fort was 
situated on the Seco Creek, about two miles from the old town 
of D\Hanis. Captain Richarz here occupied for two years the 
quarters of the last commander of that station, Major Longstreet, 
afterwards the famous Confederate general. He purchased 500 
acres of land near here, and established the first postoffice west of 
Castroville at the D'Hanis settlement, and acted up to the civil 
war as postmaster. He served one year as justice of the peace 
during the war, and after that as chief justice of Medina County. 
Up to the time of the war, Captain Richarz was the leader of the 
citizen scouts for protection from the bloody inroads of the sav- 

In 1861 the brother-in-law of Captain Richarz was killed and 
scalped by the Indians. 

In 1861 he was commissioned by the Governor as major cam- 
manding the independent battalion of mounted home guards of 
Medina County. Part of this force was always placed in camp 
along the extreme frontier line, and kept scouts constantly out 
trailing and fighting the Indians wherever they could come upon 

Captain Richarz succeeded in those times in checking to some 
extent the inroads of the savages and taking a good deal of spoils 
from them. This state of irregular warfare between the Indians 
and the volunteer organizations lasted until 1870. The country 
was really without aid from the government. The sparsely scat- 


tered garrisons of regular troops 'along the Rio Grande, mostly 
negro cavalry, were not adequate to the occasion. Captain Rich- 
arz says the Indians would drive off horses in sight of their 

In 1870 the State of Texas, under permit and authority from 
the Federal government, organized a frontier force of rangers, 
and Captain Richarz was given a commission as captain of E 
company, to be stationed at Fort Inge, on the Leona River, four 
miles below the town of Uvalde, and also an order from General 
Reynolds, of the United States army, to take the efficient war- 
riors of the Seminole tribe of Indians under his command. The 
tribe at that time was under the control of United States agents, 
and encamped on the Rio Grande. The captain protested against 
this measure, and argued that he was well informed by personal 
observation of the unreliability of these savages and their moral 
degradation, and apprehending corrupting influence of his men. 
this plan was abandoned. 

Captain Richarz placed his men, carefully selected, in various 
■camps, and only retained enough at his headquarters to make an 
efficient scout, and kept scouts going constantly along the Rio 
Grande and various parts of the imperiled frontier, and had reg- 
ular communications from Laredo to the Llano River. After 
having some successful expeditions and fights, one of which was 
near the Rio Grande, Captain Richarz received command of two 
more companies of rangers. The last bloody battle which the 
rangers under Captain Richarz had with the Indians was fought 
with the Kiowas and Comanches, near Carrizo Springs. The 
scout was commanded by Sergeant Eckford and Dr. Woodbridge. 
There were fourteen rangers and three citizens in the fight. The 
Indians numbered seventy, and fought in two lines. Eight In- 
dians were killed, including their chief, who was fantastically 
adorned, and had four scalps of white women. The wounded of 
the Indians could not be ascertained. A ranger named Belleger, 
from Castroville, was killed, and Dr. Woodbridge was knocked 
from his horse by an Indian and severely injured. So hot was 
the fire the rangers ran out of cartridges and could not follow up 
the Indians, and had to return. 

The Indians at this time had invaded the frontier in three 
strong parties, and Captain Richarz was following another band 
when this battle was fought. About this time Walter Richarz, 


son of the captain, and Joe Riff, both rangers, were killed on the 
Blanco by Indians. When the bodies were found, the signs of 
battle showed with what desperate valor the young rangers had 
sold their lives. 

This was about the last of Indian raids on this part of the 
frontier. After Captain Eicharz left the frontier service he 
served as justice and attended to his stock and farm. Served one 
term as representative of the Fifty-second district in the Legisla- 
ture. His hearing becoming defective, he was incapacitated from 
further public service, and he spends a quiet life on the west 
bank of the Seco, in a romantic spot near the foot of the hills, 
where he attends to his irrigated garden and orchard. He reads; 
the finest print without glasses, and never misses a rabbit or tur- 
key at the distance of eighty yards with a rifle. He has a kind 
and friendly disposition, and has many friends. His judgment 
of men and things is astute, and he has a blunt way of talking 
and expressing himself, but his judgment is seldom at fault. He- 
is a devoted Texan, and liberal in his views. 



Came to Texas in 1852. 

% 'V 

Among the first settlers who came to Sabinal Canyon, but few 
have had a more varied or interesting experience than Mr. Gideon 
Thompson, who still survives at this date (1899) to tell the tale 
of frontier days. 

Mr. Thompson was born in Hawkins-County, eastern Tennes^ 
see, on the 3d day of November, 1822. In 1842 we 'find him in 
the State of Arkansas, where the same year he married Miss Mar- 
garette O'Bryant. He came to Texas in 1852, and in the fall 
of the same year wended his way to Sabinal Canyon, the extreme 
limit at that time of civilization in southwest Texas. Mr. Thomp- 
son made a short stop in San Antonio on his way out, and says .-at 
that time he could have fired the town with a torch as fast as^Bgj^ 
horse could run, on account of the houses being low and mostly 
covered with grass. 

Mr. Thompson's family was the first white one that came 
west of the German settlement of old D'Hanis, in Medina County. 
Capt. William Ware was the first white man to settle in Sabinal 
Canyon, but he came without his family, and had to return to 
East Texas for them, and in the meantime Mr. Thompson and 
family came. About the same time came John Davenport, Lee 
Sanders, Henry Robinson, and James Davenport. Mr. Aaron 
Anglin, a young man, came with Mr. Thompson but soon re- 
turned to Arkansas, where he married, and came back in 1853. 
When Mr. Thompson first came to the canyon he had four chil- 
dren in his family, namely, William, Hiram, Robert, and Mary 
Ann. These were the first white children to cast their eyes over 
the lovely valley. 

The first winter after arriving the five families all lived to- 
gether at Capt. William Ware's place. He was an old Indian 
fighter, and said this would be best until they could find out what 
the Indians were going to do. 

In the summer of 1853, as no hostile Indians had put in an 
appearance, Mr. Thompson moved to the place where he now re- 
sides and built a log cabin on the Anglin prong, as it is now 


called, of the Sabinal River, six miles above Captain Ware's place 
and five miles above the present town of Utopia. The first post- 
office in the canyon was at Captain Ware's, and was called Wares- 
ville. Mr. Charles Durbin put up a store and sold goods there 
until his death, which occurred in the early 80's. 

Mr. Thompson built his house close to the creek, and says it 
does not look now like it did then. It at that time was a clear, 
bold, running stream, capable of running and operating machin- 
ery. The banks were steep and the water deep. There is no 
water at all there now. He thinks the cause of this is that when 
cattle were brought into the country they made trails down to 
the water, and the banks commenced washing and caving in, and 
filled up the channel gradually with soil and gravel. He says 
where Mr. Dan Harper's place is now, when he (Mr. Thompson) 
came here, there lay a large cedar tree top and roots, put there by 
high water. This place is below Mr. Thompson's, and between 
the Anglin prong and main river. Also on the George Murchi- 
son place, below Utopia, lodged against a noted liveoak tree hav- 
ing large, peculiar knots on it, were three large cypress trees, also 
put there by high water. If such overflows were to come now, 
many houses would most likely wash away. In the same year Mr. 
Thompson moved to his place the Tonkaway Indians came and 
camped at the mouth of the canyon, under the bluffs at the Blue 
waterhole. They were a friendly tribe, and assured the whites, 
w r hen Mr. Thompson and others went to interview them, that 
they were only there for the purpose of hunting bear. They had 
also camped before this below the mountains on the river about 
where Mr. Bascom Lyell's place is now. Here they had planted 
corn and watermelons. 

About the same time the Lipan Indians camped and pitched 
their tepees on the Frio River, near the "shut-in," where now are 
the farms of Joe Richards and Ed Meyers. The government 
moved these tribes the same year (before the watermelons of the 
Tonkaways got ripe) to the Palo Pinto Creek, seven miles from 
Fort Clark, and there established a reservation. Some of the 
Lipans soon after left the reserve, and going into the vicinity 
of San Antonio, killed some of the Foster family and carried 
one of the girls into captivity. Mrs. Foster made her escape and 
carried the news into San Antonio. This was the first Indian 
raid Mr. Thompson heard of after coming to the country. Maj. 


Robert Neighbors, Indian agent at that time, was in San An- 
tonio, and learning of the Lipan raid procured a company of 
soldiers and went in pursuit of them. He had a German sub- 
agent named Linsell, who stayed at the Palo Pinto reserve, and 
who had just arrived in San Antonio, accompanied by four Lrpan 
chiefs. These chiefs were compelled by Neighbors to go with 
the expedition and help to trail their own countrymen. The hos- 
tile trail led to the head of the Guadalupe River, and when it 
was taken up was followed rapidly by the trailers. After several 
days' hard ride over a rough country, the command stopped at 
the head springs of the Guadalupe to rest their horses a short 
time, and while so doing the Lipans went a short distance from 
camp to take observations, and. were charged and run back by a 
squad of white men from Sabinal Canyon. Among these men 
was Mr. Thompson. They were out on a scout and looking at 
the country. As soon as matters were explained to them by Major 
Neighbors, they left and went back towards home and the sol- 
diers continued the pursuit. The trail led around the head of 
the Nueces River. They next made a dry camp, but had water 
enough next morning to make coffee, and while it was being 
boiled the agent sent the Lipan chiefs and two soldiers to make 
note of the general course of the trail, who were soon to return 
and report. The two soldiers shortly came back and reported that 
the chiefs had suddenly left them and galloped away rapidly to- 
wards the Palo Pinto. The troops followed on, but when the 
reserve was reached the Lipans, having been warned of the ap- 
proach of the soldiers by the chiefs, had hastily gathered up their 
belongings and decamped into Mexico. One of the chiefs carried 
off a. horse belonging to Major Neighbors, and wanted to take the 
horses and tent of Linsell, but were prevented by the Tonkaways, 
who were always friends of the white man. Strange to say, the 
old Lipan chief sent the horse of Maj. Neighbors back, but the 
tribe always remained hostile to the whites and made many raids 
from Mexico into Texas. 

Mr. Thompson does not know what became of the captured 

In 1856 the Indians made their first raid into Sabinal Canyon. 
They came in from the south, and entered the valley from the 
lower side. They first came upon the ranch of John Fenley, 
where W. B. Wright now lives, and stole two head of stock horses, 


one mart.' belonging to the old man, or Uncle -Johnnie as lie was 
called, and one belonging to his son Demp. Early that morning 
Mr. Thompson discovered there was something wrong with his 
eat tie by their actions, and on investigating found a trail of 
Indians not far from his house. This was the same band that 
had raided Mr. Fenley nine miles below. Mr. Aaron Anglin lived 
about 400 yards up the creek from Mr. Thompson's, and he was 
at once notified of the presence of the Indians. John Brown, of 
Tennessee, an old-time friend, with his family, was living with 
Mr. Anglin. They had just come to the country a short time be- 
fore. These three at once set out in pursuit of the Indians, who 
had crossed the west prong of the Sabinal 250 yards below Mr. 
Thompson's house and kept around the foot of a mountain north- 
east of his place until they struck a spur of the mountain which 
extended west towards the river. On this spur was a thicket of 
shinoak bushes, about the center of which was a sink hole. Here 
in this depression they built a fire and spent the balance of the 
night. This was near the spot where G. P. Wheeler afterwards 
settled. After daylight the Indians came upon Mr. Thompson's 
work oxen and shot several arrows into them. Mr. Thompson 
heard his ox-bell rattling violently that morning soon after day- 
light, and was suspicious that all was not right. In trailing they 
came upon the spot where the Indians ran the oxen, which 
changed their course, and they went in a northeast direction. 
They ran the oxen around the mountain and left them near where 
Mr. Henry Taylor now lives. Prior to this raid of the Indians, 
Leek Kelly, Laban Kelley, and Jasper Wish had settled on the 
main prong of the river on the west bank, opposite to where Mr. 
Bob Thompson now lives. This was two or three miles northeast 
from Mr. Gideon Thompson's. These settlers, however, had 
moved back to Williamson County, and left no one at their place. 
Some of their effects had been left in the house, among which 
were two spinning wheels and one room full of corn in the 
ear. The trail of the Indians led to these deserted cabins, 
and here they left plenty of sign of their presence. They had 
fed their horses and left piles of corn in the yard, and broken 
the two old-time spinning wheels all to pieces. An old sow that 
had been left behind was killed, and many things broken to pieces 
besides the wheels. The three settlers took hastv observations 



of these things and continued on the trail, and coming to the 
spot where Mr. Nobe Green now lives, found in a thicket a bunch 
of cattle which had been chased by the Indians and arrows shot 
into some of them. A short distance further on Uncle Johnnie 
Fenlews mare was found badly used up, and had evidently been 
used in chasing the cattle. At this time the Indians were close 
by in camp, and would have been surprised but for an unfor- 
tunate circumstance. A dog had followed the white men, and 
at this critical moment jumped a rabbit. His yelps alarmed the 
Indians, who at once retreated with their horses into the moun- 
tains. In the camp was a large pile of cobs where the Indians 
had been shelling corn to carry along with them. Mr. Anglin 
now said he thought it of no use to go any further, as they could 
not catch them. Mr. Thompson said : "You two wait here while 
I look a little further." After going a short distance he dis- 
oovered six Indians on foot coming towards him in a trot, on 
the opposite side of a deep gully, but out of rifle range. The 
other party was now signaled and told to "Come on; here 
are the Indians." The white men on getting together rode 
towards the Indians, who began to dance and to rub paint on 
their faces. They had their horses hid under a bluff, fifteen 
head in all, to the right of where they had displayed themselves, 
and three Indians left with them. This was just above where Mr. 
John Foster now lives. They had shown themselves on the op- 
posite side of the deep gully to decoy the white men away from 
the horses. Mr. Brown had a long-range gun which was now 
handed over to Mr. Thompson, who said he could move them if 
the gun would hold up; but when he dismounted to make the 
attempt the Indians ran away up the mountain and hid them- 
selves among the rocks and bushes. The white men now crossed 
the gully on foot and went to the base of the mountain. The 
Indians then commenced shooting arrows at them. They would 
rise up quickly and shoot, and then drop down again before a 
rifle could be aimed at them. These were the days of muzzle- 
loaders, and no ammunition was wasted by the pioneers without 
a chance of hitting something. The Indians discharged at least 
one hundred arrows, all black, but they had no spikes in them. 
The white men could easily dodge them at the distance they were 
shooting, and no one was hit. The arrows were finely made, 
sharpened to a fine point, and then hardened in the fire. A hand- 


ful of them was picked up. Mr. Anglic finally gol into some 
bushes where the Indians could not see him when he took aim, 
and awaited a good chance for a shot. One soon presented it- 
self. First the head and then the shoulders of an Indian came 
up above the rock. A quick aim. and bang! The head went 
down instantly. The Indians now went further up the mountain, 
and were so hidden by rocks that they could not be hit by a 
rifle. Mr. Anglin could not tell if he hit his or not. Mr. Thomp- 
son now left the other two again and went on around the moun- 
tain to see what had become of the Indians, and saw r them high 
up, but they soon disappeared from view. He kept on, however, 
and soon discovered an Indian sitting on a rock 150 yards above 
him. He took as good aim as he could under the circumstances, 
having to shoot almost straight up, and fired. The Indian never 
moved, but yelled and said something which was unintelligible 
to Mr. Thompson, but Mr. Anglin, who also heard him, said it 
sounded to him like the Indian said "Try again.' 7 The settler 
reloaded his gun and started up higher to try another shot, but 
the savage beat a hasty retreat. Three more Indians now came 
from where the horses had been secreted and joined the others. 
Mr. Thompson had passed the horses, and these three Indians 
tried to cut him off from his companions, but they warned him 
to look out. He had discovered them, however, and soon made 
his retreat back. He saw one of the Indians leading the roan 
mare which belonged to Demp Fenley. The white men now left 
and the Indians came back and got their horses, the former not 
knowing where they were. On the way back home they came 
upon the wounded oxen. One of them was shot behind the left 
shoulder, close to the work of the leg, with a spiked arrow, and 
was in very deep. The spike had become detached from the 
arrow and was still in the wound, but so deep it could not be ex- 
tracted without cutting too much flesh. The spike remained in 
the ox two years, but the wound would not heal. About the ex- 
piration of this time the ox w T as loaned to Mr. Silas Webster to 
haul corn, but hurt his foot and became very lame. Mr. Thomp- 
son said now was a good time to cut the spike out, and it was ac- 
cordingly done. It was four inches in length and shaped like a 
dirk, sharp and of good metal. A schoolteacher named Hutchin- 
son put a handle on it and it made a good knife. The ox soon 
after died. Mr. Thompson went back to the place where he shot 


at the Indian on the rock, and saw that he had only struck four 
inches below him, and found the flattened ball where it fell. 

Not long after this raid the Indians paid Sabinal Canyon 
another visit. This time they killed a. big fat coav for Mr. Anglin,. 
and were very bold about it, They slaughtered the animal in the 
night near the house, and in the cow lot. The meat was cut up, 
packed on an old gray horse, and carried away. Next morning 
Mr. Anglin raised the alarm and collected the following named 
men to pursue them : Gideon Thompson, Sebe Barrymore, Wil- 
liam Barrymore, Henry Eobinson and his son Frank, Silas Web- 
ster, Dud Eichardson, and Henry Fuller. The last named was a 
negro man brought to the canyon by Capt. William Ware. 

The trail of the Indians led west towards a range of high 
mountains two and a half miles distant. At the foot of these 
mountains the men dismounted, and leaving their horses in 
charge of William Barrymore and Henry Fuller, took the trail 
on foot up the mountain. It was a hot day and the mountain 
rough and steep. The men became greatly exhausted, and the 
trail was finally lost amid the rocks, tangled vines, and bushes. 
On arriving at the crest the trail could not be found after the 
most diligent search, and the hunt was about to be abandoned, 
when a great number of wild bees were discovered. Henry Eob- 
inson now proposed that the others sit down and rest while he 
descended into a gorge near by to hunt for a bee cave.' While 
he was gone Mr. Thompson observed quite a number of buzzards 
sailing around over a cedar brake, coming close to the tops of the 
trees, but not alighting. When Eobinson came back he called 
his attention to the peculiar action of the buzzards, and remarked 
that they were prevented from lighting by the presence of men 
or wild animals. 

An investigation of the brake was now inaugurated, and a rude 
and freshly made brush fence discovered. Inside of this in- 
closure the Indians were encamped, and cooking the flesh of the 
slain cow of Mr. Anglin. They had built this brush screen on 
the night before, after they had carried the cow to the top of the 
mountain, so that the settlers in the valley could not see the fire 
while they barbecued the meat. Evidently they had packed the 
meat on the old gray horse, and were about to start when the 
white men came upon them. They became alarmed at some noise 
the settlers made as they came to the brush, and ran away. The 


brake was Av\\>v and the Indians could not be seen, although they 
heard them rattling the rocks as they ran. The trail of the old 
horse was easy to follow. His heavy tread left a great deal more 
sign than the light tnoccasined foot of the Indian. Besides this, 
he scattered chunks of meat as he went. After following some 
distance, however, and not being able to catch sight of an Indian 
or the pack horse, the white men halted and abandoned the pur- 
suit, as they were all nearly exhausted by their exertions. While 
sitting to rest on a rock where they could see over into a valley, 
six Indians were discovered coining in a trot towards them, but 
low down on the mountain side, and out of gunshot. The white 
men all sprang to their feet and commenced to run down the 
mountain towards them. On coming near the spot where the In- 
dians had been seen they were not visible anywhere, but signs 
were near by where they had pushed the old horse off a high bank 
into a gulley, down which they intended to continue their flight. 
The trail was taken up and soon three Indians were seen lying 
down, evidently exhausted by their exertions to get clear of the 
white men. Before a shot could be fired they sprang to their feet 
and were out of sight in a few moments in the rocks and bushes. 
The white men at this time were scattered, and the three Indians 
soon ran close to Henry Robinson and his son Frank, and stopped 
without seeing them. Henry Robinson carried a double-barreled 
gun, one for ball and the other for shot. Both father and son 
hred at the same Indian, and all three were out of sight again in 
an instant. On coming to the spot where the Indian who was 
fired at stood, plenty of blood was found, and also a belt which 
had been cut from his waist by a bullet. His trail was now taken 
up. It led down a gulley, and blood was profusely scattered and 
to be plainly seen on the rocks, and very black, indicating a liver 
wound. A pair of wet moccasins were found on a rock where the 
Indian pulled them off and left them after wading a small creek. 
They were heavy when wet, and retarded his flight. At last the 
white men were completely tired out, and yet the wounded In- 
dian was not found. Dud Richardson had become very sick from 
exertion and overheat, and was vomiting. The chase was again 
abandoned. The old gray horse was finally found, however, lost 
in the shuffle, and taken in custody by the settlers. He came out 
of the chase with but very little of Mr. Anglin's big fat cow hang- 
ing to him. Besides the horse, there were captured one lance, one 


shield, two bows, one quiver of arrows, five bridles, and five 
lariats. Night was now approaching, and it was quite dark be- 
fore they could descend the rough mountain to where they had 
left their horses. The animals were all right, tied up where they 
had left them, but the men left in charge were gone. 

About one month after this raid the Indians came again, and 
no doubt for revenge, for it is almost certain that the Indian 
wounded by Henry Eobinson died. As before, they first let their 
presence be known at the ranch of Mr. Anglin. They came at 
night and were discovered by the dogs. Mr. Anglin was gone 
to the Cibolo at the time to see Mr. Pancost about some horses. 
He lived at Selma, and afterwards sold goods in San Antonio un- 
der the firm name of Pancost & Son. One of Mr. Anglin's dogs 
was very much afraid of Indians, and as soon as he would get 
scent of one would rush into the house and go under the bed. On 
this occasion, when the dogs raised the alarm in the yard, this 
particularly nervous dog in regard to Indians made a break for 
the house, but as the door was closed he came near butting his 
brains out against the shutter. "Indians I" exclaimed Mrs. Ang- 
lin as soon as she heard the dog make such a frantic effort to get 
into the house. On this particular night Mr. John Leakey and 
wife were stopping with the family of Mr. Anglin, and he at once 
opened the door, pistol in hand, and went into the yard. The 
other dogs were still barking, but it was too dark to see anything. 
While Mr. Leakey was standing with his face in the direction of 
the Indians as indicated by the dogs, an arrow sped from out the 
darkness, barely missing Mr. Leakey. He now sent several bul- 
lets in the direction the arrow came from, and then went back in 
the house. Lights had been put out when the first alarm was 
raised, and Mr. Leakey now sat in darkness and kept watch until 
daylight. Mr. Leakey's home was below the mountains on the 
Sabinal, in the Patterson settlement. Next morning after the 
Indian alarm Mr. Leakey, while looking about for the signs of 
the Indians, found a cap of foxskin hanging to a blackjack limb 
about 100 yards from the house. It Avas evident that this was the 
cap of the Indian who shot the arrow at Mr. Leakey, and lost it 
in flight when the settler returned the fire. He might have been 
wounded. Mr. Leakey notified the nearest settlers of the raid, 
and five men soon collected at Mr. Anglin's house to go in pur- 
suit of them. They were, besides Leakey, Gideon Thompson, 


Henry Robinson, Silas Webster, and Sebe Barrymore. They de- 
cided to follow the Indians on foot, -as the mountains were steep 
and rough for horses. The Indians were supposed to be some dis- 
tance away by this time and the pursuit would last several days, 
but in the end they hoped to come upon them unawares in camp 
and get the best of them. Mrs. Anglin filled a pillowslip full of 
provisions, and Mr. Leakey fastened it across his shoulders back 
of the neck. The sequel will show that these daring pioneers 
were never to partake of the food which the good woman was so 
careful in preparing for them. 

The trail led southwest to the mountains, two and one-half 
miles away, and the trailers soon arrived and commenced their 
ascent, The Indians were on top of the mountain in an ambus- 
cade and watching all the maneuvers of the whites. They had 
made their trail plain, even cutting bushes with their tomahawks 
so that the white men would be certain to come into their trap. 
It was a hot day in August, and the men went up slowly. While 
ascending, Mr. Thompson, who was always on the lookout for 
signs, saw buzzards again, and said he believed the Indians were 
on the mountain. "Not an Indian in ten miles of here," said 
Mr. Leakey. When the top of the mountain was reached the men 
were hot and tired. It was a fine place for an ambush — rocks, 
low brush, and cedar trees. The lead men had penetrated the 
ambush, and their order as to position when the battle com- 
menced was as follows : Robinson in front, Leakey next, Web- 
ster next, Barrymore next, and Thompson last. Mr. Thompson 
was incumbered with a large Spanish water gourd full of water 
which was strapped to his left arm. In addition to this he car- 
ried a heavy rifle, was very much fatigued, and had not quite 
reached the top. He had just called to the men to stop and rest 
awhile, when two shots were fired in front by the Indians at Rob- 
inson and Leakey. At the same time he saw an Indian running 
along a ledge in plain view waving a red blanket and yelling. He 
was trying to draw the fire of the men in the rear to him, so that, 
few and tired as the white men were, they would fall the easier 
victims. As before stated, the two foremost men had penetrated 
the ambuscade and had been fired on at close ran- c, out without 
eifect. Mr. Thompson thought at the time that these two first 
shots had been fired by Robinson and Leakey. The Indians now 
broke cover in many places, and showed themselves to be quite 


numerous. As the white men began to return the fire the In- 
dians sprang from tree to tree and from rock to rock, and soon 
encompassed them on two sides. Mr. Thompson saw Mr. Leakey 
close among the Indians, and pointing his gun vigorously from 
one to another but failing to fire. The reason for this was the 
fact that Leakey had borrowed a rifle with set triggers, and he 
had been used to a single-triggered gun, so in this trying ordeal 
he had failed to spring the trigger and the hammer could not be 
pulled down. At this time Mr. Thompson was making frantic 
efforts to disengage the water gourd from his arm, but failing, 
was compelled to fire with this weight dangling at his left elbow. 
The Indian he aimed at was not more than twenty yards from 
him, but the smoke from his gun when he fired so obscured his 
view that he could not see the effects of the shot. He now heard 
Leakey firing, and looking in his direction saw him half bent, 
leaning towards the Indians, and shooting rapidly with a re- 
volver. He had thrown his gun down. Kobinson fired his gun 
and then retreated past Leakey, telling him to run — there was 
too many for them. Mr. Thompson made an attempt to reload 
his gun, but choked it, and was unable to do so. Calling now to 
Leakey to run, he started back down the mountain. Webster 
and Barry more had passed him going back, after discharging 
their rifles. Robinson, brave as a lion, but seeing the utter futil- 
ity of making a fight against twenty-five Indians under the cir- 
cumstances, continued his retreat, after again calling to Leakey 
to come. Webster and Barrymore were going back the way they 
came up, Robinson further to the right, and all soon passed 
Thompson. In going down a limb caught in the strap of Web- 
ster's shotpouch, jerking it from his shoulder,, and it was left 
dangling in the air. The Indians at this "time were making the 
mountain gorges echo again and again with fearful warwhoops, 
and the shots from Leakey were no longer heard. An Indian 
now came out on a rock with a rifle in his hand where he could 
have a plain view of the retreating men, and taking aim fired it 
at Thompson. The ball passed through his hat brim on the right 
side, went between his ear and head, and passing on hit Barry- 
more in the hip, coming out at the thigh. This shot was fired 
from Leakey's gun. An Indian had picked it up where Leakey 
had discarded it, and knowing how to operate the set triggers, 
fired it with the result above narrated. The three men now re- 


treated to an open ledge and halted, as Barrymore was con- 
tinually falling. There was no doubt in their minds that Rob- 
inson and Leakey were both killed. All were silent for. a short 
time, and then Leakey was seen staggering down the mountain 
towards them, and finally sank down. After emptying his pistol 
he had turned from the Indians and sprang down a ledge, cov- 
ered with wounds, and made his way back more dead than alive. 
Mr. Thompson at once went to him and gave him water out of 
the gourd which he still carried on his arm. The water soon re- 
vived Leakey, and he began to talk. The first words he said were, 
"Damn the gun ! I could not make it shoot. I must have broken 
it in some way. I pulled and pulled on the trigger.' 7 He was 
hit by arrows in nine places, and Mr. Thompson says he was the 
bloodiest man he ever saw. One arrow had struck near the wrist 
as he had his arm extended towards the Indians, firing with a 
pistol, and it penetrated lengthwise of the arm nearly to the 
shoulder, and was still transfixed. Other wounds were in the 
neck, face, head, thigh, and body. 

Robinson had also sprang from a ledge and stopped in the 
brush and reloaded his gun. He then rejoined his companions, 
who thought him killed. After he came an Indian was discov- 
ered on a rock looking for them. Robinson at once prepared to 
shoot him, but Mr. Thompson said, "No, Henry, don't shoot. It 
will bring all of them on us again, and no loaded guns. Mine is 
choked; Leakey's is gone'; Barrymore is wounded, and his gun 
not loaded, and Webster has lost his ammunition and his gun is 
empty." Robinson then desisted and all Avent down the moun- 
tain, Barrymore having to be supported. Thus they got clear out 
of this most desperate situation without losing a man. Leakey 
still had the provisions strapped to his shoulders. They were 
saturated with blood, and were taken off and thrown away. After 
arriving at the Anglin ranch again Dud Richardson was sent to 
the Patterson settlement after men, and an expedition was organ- 
ized to go in pursuit of the Indians. When the reinforcements 
arrived they at once repaired to the battleground and took the 
trail of the Indians. How many were killed in the fight could 
not be ascertained. There was blood on the ground in places, but 
no doubt some of this came from Leakey's wounds. 

The trail led a southwest course towards the town of LTyalde, 
about fortv miles distant. On Bear Creek some dead grass had 


been burned off, leaving the ground covered with ashes, and in 
this twenty-two trails of foot Indians were counted. Mr. Thomp- 
son thinks they fought twenty-five on the mountain. Besides 
the trails of the Indians there were fifteen trails of horses. The 
Indians made one camp on Bear Creek. Here they took Leakey's 
gun to pieces and scattered the parts around. All of it was found 
except those parts which had holes through them for screws, etc. 
The trail was continued on from here in the general direction 
until they came to the "yellow banks" on the dry Frio, at the 
foot of the mountains. Here the Indians separated into two par- 
ties, and it was afterwards ascertained that the largest party 
went down the main Frio. The trail here was hard to keep, and 
the Indians scattered considerably on purpose to retard the pur- 
suit of the whites, whom no doubt they had seen from some 
mountain top. The smallest trail was finally located, and it 
tended in the direction of Pilot Knob, at Fort Inge, four miles 
below Uvalde, on the Leona River. The soldiers had been re- 
moved from the fort, and no one was there at this time except 
old man G-riner and his family. The Indians passed around to 
the left of the fort and kept south. For two clays the men trailed 
through dense brush and pears, and finally lost the trail. It had 
been put out by numerous wild cattle that had passed over it. 
The men were now without food and water, and were compelled 
to quit searching for the lost trail and go to the Leona for water. 
Some of the men were in favor of giving up the pursuit and re- 
turning, but Mr. Thompson and "Butch" Dilliard persuaded 
them to try one more day. This was finally agreed to, and the 
trail w'as found again. The Indians on their way up to Sabinal 
Canyon on this raid had traversed this part of the country and 
had roped and tied up three head of wild cattle, no doubt intend- 
ing to eat them on their return, but failed to do anything with 
them, likely passing the spot in the night and not being able to 
find them. When the white men passed two of the cattle were 
dead, and the other had got loose and made his escape. The 
trailers also found where the Indians had killed one old male of 
the wild cattle and cooked the meat. They took the bones along 
with them until they came to where there was some rocks, and 
there cracked them to get the marrow. They passed near West- 
fall's ranch, and when the settlers came to a point on the river 
about a mile below they heard the Indians singing and making 


a noise like a gang of Mexican?. The men all dismounted now, 
and leaving three of their party with the horses, advanced cau- 
tiously toward the banks of the Leona, from whence the sounds 
emanated, led by Henry Robinson and Newman Patterson. The 
Indians were all in bathing, except two bucks and one squaw. 
Some were yelling and some singing and making a great splash- 
ing in the water. It seems they were of the opinion that the 
white men had abandoned the pursuit. The surprise was com- 
plete. The first intimation they had of danger was the sight of 
white men standing on the bank shooting at them. The men 
in front fired first and killed the squaw and one buck. The bal- 
ance of the men scattered along the bank and poured a perfect 
storm of bullets at those in the water. The buck who was on the 
bank and was not killed at the first fire ran to an elm tree, and 
was shot by Jesse Lewis, a half Cherokee Indian. The hostile 
then left the tree and ran a short distance and fell, with his bow 
in one hand and three arrows in the other. Some of the Indians 
in the water tried to come out and secure their arms, but the fire 
from the white men was so severe that only one got out on the 
bank, and he caught up his quiver by the wrong end and his 
arrows all dropped out as he attempted to run back in the w T ater 
with it. Mr. Thompson saw one Indian in the water who had 
been shot, and with his back half exposed was watching to see 
who was going to shoot at him again. Mr. Thompson shot him 
again, and he turned over and over in the water, like a snake with 
his back broken, until he got to the opposite bank, and then got 
out and went about 200 yards on the opposite side of the river 
and lay down. Some of the men stripped off their clothing and 
followed him and killed him. He had on a big sixshooter, two 
of the chambers of which were loaded. It is somewhat strange 
that he had it on in the water. Two guns were picked up and 
were found to be badly overloaded, the charges measuring four 
inches. An Indian believes in making all the noise he can when 
in a fight. One Indian made his escape without being hit. He 
was afterwards seen on a reservation at Fort Belknap by Mr. 
Black, who was in the fight. Eight Indians were killed on the 
spot. Mr. Black was afterwards killed in Uvalde. On one of the 
shields captured was found the missing parts of Leakey's gun — 
the pieces that had holes in them. This gun belonged to John 
Richards, and he had but recently purchased it in San Antonio 


from Mr. Charles Hummell, who dealt in firearms, and is still in 
that business under the firm name of Charles Hummell & Son. 
All parts of the gun were finally collected and sent back to San 
Antonio, and Mr. Hummell put it together again. Besides Mr. 
Thompson and the others already mentioned, there were in this 
Indian killing scrape Judge McCormick, John Ware, John 
Davenport, John Bowles, Joel Fenley, and others. None of the 
white men were hurt, and all returned safely home. 

In 1861 Big Foot Wallace fought the Indians on the head of 
the Seco, about twelve miles from Sabinal Canyon, and that 
night came with his men into the canyon with some wounded 
men, one of whom was William Davenport. He left the Indians 
in possession of the battleground and about 200 head of horses. 
He wanted more men to help to pursue and fight them again, 
and if possible to retake the horses which were stolen below. This 
band of Indians had penetrated into the settlements as far as 
Atascosa County and killed many people. Around the little vil- 
lage of Pleasanton they had killed a man named Hern don, 
wounded Anderson and O'Bryant, and chased several others. On 
the way back they were fought by a small party of settlers, in 
which James Winters was killed and others wounded. Further 
on they killed "Mustang" Moore, near where Moore's station is, 
and Peter Ketchum, on the Hondo. They also killed Mr. Mur- 
ray, tax assessor of Bandera County. Others were also killed 
and wounded by them, and horses gathered up all over the coun- 
try. Captain Wallace stayed that night at John C. Ware's place, 
near where Utopia now is. Jasper Kinchaloe was sent up the 
canyon to notify the settlers who lived above. Late at night he 
came to Mr. Thompson's house and told the news of the battle 
and the need of more men. Jack Kelley lived still above, about 
where Mr. Sam Harper now lives, and Mr. Thompson went to 
notify him. His horse was out, but they hunted him up in the 
dark and came on down to Mr. Anglin's house. Here they tried 
to shoe their horses in his shop, but the wind blew the light out 
and they v could not do it. Next morning seven of the canyon 
men went to the Cypress spring, where the Bob Harper place is 
now, and there intended to wait for Big Foot Wallace and his 
men from below, and in the meantime shoe their horses, as Mr. 
Thompson had brought his tools along. By the time the shoeing 
was over a cold rain had set in, and as Wallace and his party had 


not as yet put in an appearance. Thompson and his men mounted 
their horses and started back home. After crossing the river, 
however, and coming to a point about where Mr. Henry Taylor 
now resides, they came upon the trail of Wallace and his men,. 
who had crossed below and came np the west bank of the river. 
The Thompson party at once 1 turned and followed their trail, and 
came up with them at the old Kelley ranch, which has been pre- 
viously mentioned as the place where the Indians broke up the 
spinning wheels. Here the whole party stayed until morning, 
as by this time the weather had become fearfully cold, the rain 
turning to sleet. Most of the men were not prepared for such a 
change, some of the Atascosa County men not even having their 
coats with them. They did very well, however, at the deserted' 
ranch during the night. The following morning was clear and 
not so cold, and the Indian hunt was resumed with vigor. The 
intention of Captain Wallace was to get ahead of the Indians 
and lay an ambush for them. His party was traveling north 
and the late battleground was east, but the general course of the 
Indians was northwest, and would intersect that of the whites. 
The Indians traveled slowly with so man)' horses and over a very 
rough country, and no doubt also laid up for the sleet in some 
cedar brake. Wallace got ahead of them on the divide and placed 
his men in ambush for them. The impatience of the men, how- 
ever, and their want of discipline, caused them to fail in their 
object. Many of them left their places of concealment to look, 
and when the Indians did come and before they were in gunshot 
a man named Hilburn fired his rifle and the Indians ran and 
scattered. Some of the men had left their horses too far, and 
could not get them quick enough to do any good in the pursuit. 
The horses, however, were all captured and carried back to the 
owners by Wallace and his men. 

In 1866 the Indians attacked the ranch of Mr. E. H. Kinch- 
aloe in his absence and killed Mrs. Bowlin, a neighbor lady, who 
was there at the time. They also wounded Mrs. Kinchaloe in a 
dozen places, and left her for dead on the floor. 

Mr. Thompson took an active part in the pursuit of the In- 
dians, but was unsuccessful in getting them. He had the mis- 
fortune to get his leg broken after he got to be an old man, but 
is hearty and carries his years well. He still lives on the place he 
first settled over forty years ago, but has made many improve- 


ments and is well to do. His wife died a few years ago. Mr. 
Aaron Anglin died at his home on May 15, 1884. His wife, Mrs. 
Jennie Anglin, died in November, 1894, on Thanksgiving day. 

Mr. Anglin was one of the commissioners who helped to lay off 
the town of Uvalde. His son, Job Anglin, still lives at the old 
home on the Anglin prong of the river. 



Came to Texas in 1853. 

Fifteen miles west of Sabinal Canyon, running nearly south, is 
Frio Canyon, a long, wide, beautiful valley, with the Frio (pro- 
nounced Frco) River running through its center. There are 
many clear creeks flowing into it on both sides, and each of these 
streams has small canyons containing many acres of rich land 
which is now (1897) being rapidly settled and small farms 

One of the early settlers here is Capt. T. M. G. Van Pelt, who 
has a fine ranch and farm fronting the river. Mr. Van Pelt was 
born in the town of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Caro- 
lina, in July, 1831. His great-grandfather was a soldier in the 
war of the revolution, and was killed by the tories and Indians. 
He was at home at the time when the Van Pelt house was at- 
tacked by the red and white savages. His grandfather first dis- 
covered the enemy and ran to the house. As he was getting over 
the yard fence the tories commenced shooting but missed him, 
and hit the top rails of the fence. In the fight that ensued at the 
house the elder Van Pelt (the soldier) was killed, but the son 
made his escape. In the war of 181.2 his grandfather was on his 
way to join General Jackson's army when the battle of New 
Orleans was fought. 

Mr. Van Pelt came to Texas in 1853 and first settled at Gon- 
zales, but soon moved from there and settled at Prairie Lea, in 
Caldwell County, in 1854. He bought cattle there and drove 
them to the Hondo River just below where Hondo City now is, 
the county seat of Medina County. That was in 1855. In 1860 
he moved and settled in Frio Canyon, Uvalde County. Among 
those who were there at the time was E. V. Dale, Richard Ware, 
and Capt. Theophilus Watkins. The latter was captain of the 
frontier guards. Mr. John Leakey w r as the first settler, but had 
moved his family and was running some freight wagons below. 
In 1861 Mr. Van Pelt went back to the Hondo to gather his 
hogs, and while doing so stayed at the ranch of Widow Dean and 
her son Joe. During that time the Indians made a raid and 


killed several settlers, among whom was Mr. Pete Ketchum. Mr. 
Van Pelt helped to bury Ketcrmm, and also saw nine head of 
horses the Indians had killed. The hostiles were in large force, 
and nearly all of the men in the country rallied under Big Foot 
Wallace to pursue and fight them. The Indians were overtaken 
at the head of the Seco (Saco) Creek, where they had selected a 
strong position and had halted to give the settlers battle. Mr. 
Van Pelt had joined the expedition. Near their ambush the In- 
dians had tied a horse on the side of the mountain near their 
trail, and in plain view of anyone approaching from the valley. 
It seemed to be an abandoned horse. Judge "Davenport was the 
first one to see the animal and exclaimed, "To first sight belongs 
the property," and started up the mountain, followed by several 
others. Captain Wallace said, "Look out, boys ; that is a trick of 
the Indians," but they kept on and were soon fired upon by the 
Indians at close range with shotguns and other arms. Some of 
the men were hit, among whom was a son of Judge Davenport, 
William. There was a general stampede back down the moun- 
tain, and some confusion prevailed amid the yelling of Indians. 
Mr. Van Pelt says the first sight he saw of the Indians was one 
rise up on his knee and fire a shotgun. Captain Wallace ordered 
all to dismount at the foot of the mountain and tie their horses 
to the cedar trees which grew thick on the bank of the ravine. 
He also requested some of them who had long range guns to 
ascend a hill in the rear and fire from there, as they could better 
see the Indiians, who had now taken refuge from the rifle shots 
in the rocks, and could not be seen from below, where most of the 
men were posted. During one charge Mr. Van Pelt had his gun 
up to his face and was taking aim at the chief when a man named 
Hilbnrn fired first and killed him. The Indian fell forward on 
his face with an arrow in his hand, which he was about to adjust 
to the bowstring to shoot. The other Indians carried his body 
up the mountain. He was very brave, and continually charged, 
the whites until he was killed. One Indian was' observed with a 
shotgun which he laid down after discharging it, and commenced 
shooting arrows very fast. He had on a hat and shirt which 
reached down nearly to his knees. George Eobins fired at him 
with a shotgun, but he caught the load on his shield and ran, 
leaving the shotgun. This gun belonged to "Mustang" Moore, 
whom the Indians had killed on this raid near the place where 


Moore's station now is on the International Railroad, and which 
was named for him. Moore had camped on a return trip from 
San Antonio. William Davenport, who was wounded and lying 
under a cedar tree during the hottest of the firing, wanted to get 

ii|) and join in, hut Judge Davenport stopped him, and said, 
"Lay still. Bill ; there are a thousand of them here yet." When 
the light was over and the Indians had all gone back on top of 
the mountain, Mr. Van Pelt asked if there was any man in the 
crowd that had on a linen shirt. Xo one had, but there was one 
found who had linen wristbands on his shirt sleeves. These were 
taken off and picked to pieces very fine by Mr. Van Pelt, and 
twisted into a cord and carefully inserted into the wound of 
Davenport and drawn through, but left there. The wound was 
in the leg above the knee, and was made by a large ball that went 
through. The cord afterward was turned frequently until it be- 
gan to get well. This was to keep the wound cleansed. Judge 
Davenport wanted to cut the leg of the pantaloons off, but Mr. 
Van Pelt objected to that, saying the leg would freeze before 
they could get to the settlement in Sabinal Canyon. By this 
time it was nearly night, cold and sleeting. The Indian chief 
killed in the fight was afterwards found in a cave. He was finely 
dressed, having many beads on his clothing and a magnificent 
headdress and shield. These things were sold, and the shield 
alone brought $30. When coming on the trail of the Indians up 
Seco valley the settlers crossed the bridle road that led from Ban- 
dera over to Sabinal Canyon. Captain Wallace said the Indians 
had run some one along the trail, as the tracks of running horses 
indicated. This was correct, and the man pursued was Mr. Mur- 
ra} r , the tax assessor of Bandera County, who was coming over to 
Sabinal Canyon to assess, as part of the valley was in Bandera 
County. Murray was killed, and his bod}', at the time Wallace 
and his men passed, was lying not far away on the side of the 
mountain. The Indians who killed him got back to their com- 
panions in time for the battle, in which they lost Murray's pistol,, 
and it was recovered by the white men. 

After the fight Wallace and his men went to Sabinal Canyon 
and spent the night. Additions were made to his force by canyon 
men, and the pursuit of the Indians commenced again. Mr. Van 
Pelt says they ambushed the Indians at Ranger Springs, but, as 



has already been written, Frank Hilburn fired too soon and 
spoiled it all. Mr. Van Pelt says that Hilburn badly wounded 
the Indian at whom he fired, although at long range, and that 
he died and his body was found afterwards. The Indians had 
many horses, and when the stampede commenced after Hilburn 
fired a bell was heard on one of the loose horses rattling loudly. 
Mr. Van Pelt exclaimed, "My bell V 3 meaning he would have the 
horse that wore the bell. An Indian had mounted this belled 
horse, and Mr. Van Pelt gave him a close chase and was about 
to fire his rifle at him when the Indian looked back to see if the 
white man was going to shoot, and a limb knocked him off. He 
made his escape to the brush, but Mr. Van Pelt got the horse and 
also one of his own, which the Indians had held for more than a 
year. Nearly 200 head of horses were taken and carried back to 
their owners. 

While Mr. Van Pelt lived on the Hondo, in 1859, the Indians 
made a raid, and after killing a Mexican herder, chased and 
killed two cowboys, one Huffman and Sebastian Wolfe. Van 
Pelt, Mike Whiff, George Johnson, and Jack Wolfe, brother to 
the one killed, followed the Indians, but were met by Jack Daven- 
port and others who had followed the Indians and whipped them 
and taken their horses. The}^ had Huffman's mule, saddle, and 
pistol. The bodies of the men had not as yet been found, but 
it was very evident that they had been killed. All now went to 
look foil" the missing men, and soon found their dead and mangled 
bodies and buried them. Wolfe's throat was cut from ear to ear. 
The dead Indian in the tree was also taken down by them. 

In 18(52 Malcolm Van Pelt, Frank Hilburn. Jasper Wish, Gid 
Thompson, Joel Fenley, Chris Kelley, Ezekiel Tucker, and 
James Davenport followed a band of Indians from the Frio to 
the head of East Nueces, near the head of Ash Creek. There 
they found a mare killed, with the back skinned where the In- 
dians had cut out the sinews to make bowstrings. Some said the 
animal had been killed several days, but Mr. A r an Pelt knew the 
mare and said that she belonged to Joe Harrison, and was at his 
ranch only a few days before. He was confident the Indians were 
near who killed her. In scouting around through the hills 
seventy-five wigwams were discovered, and near them a horse 
belonging to Mr. Van Pelt. Fie, however, declined to go to him, 
and said he did not need that particular horse in his business 


just at that time. The men now went back and camped, as they 

could not make a fight it' all those wigwams had tenants. Nexl 
morning in going hack to the spot where the dead mare lay it was 
discovered that the moat had been taken away, only the skeleton 
remaining. It was afterwards learned that nearly all of the In- 
dians at this time were below on a raid, and those in camp kept 
hid from the white men, and when they left followed them and 
tried to ambush them on Patterson's Creek, but the white men 
passed the danger spot. ahead of them. Another party of white 
men returned to the wigwams, but they were deserted. The In- 
dians anticipated a return of the whites and left. While the men 
were looking about the camps a smooth, flat pecan stick was 
found, and on it was drawn the Frio Eiver, nine white men, and 
four Indians, the white men going down the river and the In- 
dians to the northwest. This was for the information of the war 
party when they should return from the raid. The pictures of 
the Indians were drawn with red paint. They also drew a picture 
of the moon, showing how old it was when the white men were 

Mr. E. V. Dale, an old San Jacinto veteran, who lived many 
years in Guadalupe County and died there, was a neighbor of 
Mr. Van Pelt. They were good friends but entirely different in 
their temperaments. Mr. Dale was always in earnest and serious 
on all subjects, and was never known to get off a joke on anyone. 
Mr. Van Pelt was exactly the opposite, always running over with 
fun and practical jokes, and when no one else was around would 
perpetrate them on his friend Dale. On one occasion Dale was 
invited by Van to take a hunt with him and another neighbor. 
He consented, and came at the specified time with gun, blankets, 
and provisions. Van Pelt was to furnish the wagon and team. 
The wagon had no bed on it, and the things were strapped to the 
coupling pole. Mr. Dale did not like these arrangements, and 
wanted a wagon bed put on so a sheet could be stretched over it 
at night to sleep under, as he was solicitous about his health. 
This was overruled, however, and they started, Mr. Dale perched 
astride of the coupling on the bedding. Mr. Van Pelt was on the 
rocking bolster, where he could control and guide the oxen. The 
other man was on a horse carried along to pack game to camp on. 
Everything went on all right until they went to cross the Frio 
River. It was shallow at the crossing, but deep above. The 


spirit of mischief now came upon Mr. Van Pelt, and it was al- 
most irresistible to give Mr. Dale a ducking. He had one ox that, 
if he jumped out beside him and talked quick and loud to him,, 
would swerve sharply in the opposite direction and was hard to 
control. Just as they w r ere entering the stream Mr. Van did that 
trick, and the oxen turned sharply up stream into deep water, 
submerging Mr. Dale and all the bedding. Van Pelt held on to 
the rope and yelled "Whoa \" with all his might, and of course 
was wet himself, to make Dale think it was accidental. When 
they got out Van told his wet friend how it all happened, and 
when he got through Dale said, "Yes, and you are an old fool." 
The balance of the day was spent drying clothing and bedding 
around large fires. Mr. Dale said it would be the death of him. 
No bad effects, however, occurred from the wetting, and they 
killed plenty of game and had a good time. 

When Mr. Dale was loaded up and ready to move east he drove 
by Van Pelt's, and calling him out, extended his hand, saying, 
"Van, I am going to do something for you now that the devil 
has never yet done for you, — tell you good-bye." Van laughed 
heartily at this, shook his hand, and they parted friends. 



Came to Texas in 1854. 

Among the pioneers of Southwest Texas who has endured the 
perils and hardships, met the dangers unflinchingly, and suffered 
loss of loved ones at the hands of the savages, is Mr. J. W. Miller, 
"better known as "Jack" among his friends. Mr. Miller was born 
in Pulaski County, Missouri, near Waynesville, which was the 
county seat at that time. His grandfather was a soldier under 
Washington. Jack Miller came to Texas in 1854 and settled in 
Sabinal Canyon, near the present village of Utopia. He moved 
from this place and settled at Fort Lincoln, on the Seco, below 
the mountains near old D'Hanis. While living at this place, on 
the 29th of January, 1867, his brother George, in company with 
August Rothe and Herbert Weynand, went up into Hondo Can- 
yon on a cow hunt and camped out several nights below where 
the Bandera road now crosses the valley. Early one morning the 
Indians came upon them and the boys ran from camp on foot, 
not having time to untie and mount their horses. There were no 
guns in the crowd and but one pistol, and it only partly loaded, 
carried by August Rothe. Eothe and Miller were about 17 years 
of age and Weynand about 13. Miller was killed and Weynand 
carried off a captive. Rothe made his escape to a mountain, and 
kept the Indians off by aiming the pistol at them when they ran 
close to him. Keeping his few loads in reserve was all that saved 
him, the Indians not knowing how badly loaded his pistol was. 
Young Rothe came to a settler named McCay and told the news, 
and a party came and carried away the body of Miller in McCay's 
wagon. A runner was then sent to notify the Miller and Wey- 
nand families at Fort Lincoln. The father of the murdered 
George came and brought the body of his son home and buried it 
there. (See a more detailed account of this affair in the sketch 
of August Rothe.) 

On one occasion Jack Miller, Ambrose Crane, "Seco" Smith, 
George Johnson, Charles Richter, and William Wagener were 
•camped on the Seco cow-hunting below where the railroad now 


crosses the creek. The elder Miller, father of Jack, came down 
to see about the cattle, and on his return home was run onto by 
Indians in Seco bottom, but succeeded in getting away from 
them and back to the boys, and gave the alarm. The cowboys at 
once mounted and put out after the Indians and soon came upon 
them. The Indians had forty head of horses belonging to Judge 
George Harper, who had a ranch on the Hondo River some miles 
east of the Seco. The Indians ran when they saw the cowmen 
and a long chase commenced. In about one and a half miles run 
one Indian was overhauled with a worn-out horse, which he de- 
serted, took to a thicket, and there prepared to fight the white 
men. All of the cowboys now T stopped, as no more Indians were 
likely to be caught, and concentrated around the thicket where 
the lone Comanche had made his stand to fight his pale-faced 
foes, who greatly outnumbered him. Even with only one Indian 
to fight the men had to approach him with great caution to keep 
any of their party from being killed. As soon as the Indian 
would get a glimpse of a man as they circled around trying to see 
him an arrow would come in quick flight, and some narrow 
escapes were made. Ambrose Crane, who was a very tall man 
and could see over bushes and tall grass, obtained a view of the 
Indian and shot at him with a pistol. Many shots were now 
fired, the men charging in and firing with sixshooters, their only 
weapons. The Comanche was badly wounded, having his elbow 
shot off so that he could not use his bow, and becoming desperate,, 
left his cover and charged the crowd. The pistol balls met him 
on every side, and he soon sank down and died, with a butcher- 
knife clenched in his only hand that he could use. Mr. Eolly 
Miller, father of Jack, and a very old man, who had followed the 
boys, scalped the dead brave, and his body was left where it fell. 
Jack Miller gave the Indian one stab with a knife when he left 
the thicket, and the white men closed around him. The Millers 
had in mind the dead and mutilated body of a son and brother. 
Years after some one found the skull of the Indian and carried 
it away. Judge Harper got all of his horses back. The Indian 
had selected a bad one on which to make his escape, and lost his 
life in consequence. There were many horses in the herd that 
would bave carried him away safely. The Indian looked to be 
about 30 years of age, and was tall and slim. 


Jack Miller is one of the successful stock men of Medina 
County, and has a fine ranch on the Seco. About 300 yards from 
his house, and nearly opposite, on the west side of the creek, is 
the site of the old house built by Mr. Myrick, in which Richard 
Ware and Charles Durbin made their stand and kept off a large 
body of Indians in the early settlement of the country. 




Came to Texas in 1854. 

Among the pioneers of the west who have seen wild Indians, 
fought them, and been chased by them, is Mr. A. C. Eothe, who 
now lives on his ranch on the west bank of the Seco, about six 
miles north from the town of D'Hanis. 

Mr. Kothe was born in the northern part of Bavaria in 1847, 
and came to Castroville, Texas, with his father, Henry Eothe, in 
1854. They sailed from the old country in the ship Salucia, and 
landed at Galveston. From this point they came by ox teams to 
Castroville. Mrs. Eothe was sick on the way, and died in four- 
teen days after arriving at their new home in this far away, 
strange, and frontier country. It is always sad to think of a 
death under these circumstances. These people, cutting loose 
from all ties of relationship, friends, home, and country; brav- 
ing the dangers of the deep in a small vessel; landing on a for- 
eign soil among people whose language they could not speak ; the 
long and tedious trip to the west by slow moving ox wagons, and 
at last reaching the place of long expectation, and then not live 
to enjoy the fruits of the sacrifices which they have made in order 
to reach the place where they expected to rest from their toils 
and build up pleasant, happy homes in the beautiful new country. 

The Eothe family first settled on the Medina Eiver, six miles 
above Castroville, and then moved up near the Haby settlement, 
six miles further. The Eothe boys were Fritz, Henry, Louis, and 
August, and one daughter. The Eothes had a hard time of it at 
first. The boys had gone to school most of their time while in 
Europe, and had not as yet learned how to work on a farm or 
handle cattle, which was all that young men could do at that 
time in the west, except probably freighting or working for the 
government on forts, etc. The elder Eothe was also unused to 
this kind of work, being a man of some means, and an office- 
Tiolder in the old country. However, they soon learned how to 
manage and raise stock, and farmed until 1862. They then 
moved to the Seco, near Fort Lincoln, and took charge of the 
Hiley stock of cattle under contract to keep them three years. 


In the meantime the civil war had broken out, and the two oldest 
boys, Fritz and Henry, joined the company of Captain Ivamp- 
mann and went to the Confederate army and served the cause 
of the South until the break-up. 

August and Louis had to fill the contract with Riley's cattle, 
and they had a hard time of it. The Indians constantly depre- 
dated upon them and kept stealing their horses, so that they 
could hardly keep ponies enough to handle the cattle. Horses 
were high and hard to get. In the three years they were engaged 
in handling the Riley cattle they lost $3000 worth of horses. 
After this contract was finished, and the other boys coming back 
from the war, the Rothes brought their cattle from the Medina 
and commenced to raise cattle on an extensive scale, and were 
very successful. August saw his first wild Indian in 1863. In 
that year he and his brother Louis and Charles Richter, all boys, 
went on a cow-hunt to the Cedar waterhole, on Seco, some dis- 
tance above the settlement. On the way they came upon three 
head of cattle which had been killed by Indians. Two of the 
stock had arrows in them, and the boys dismounted and pulled 
these out and carried them along with them. 

At this time Jacob Sauter, Tobe Sauter, and Mike Schreiber 
had gone up to the Cedar waterhole to cut grass. The boys went 
up there and told them to look out, "the Indians were in." The 
grass-cutters said they had seen a man running horses, and Tobe 
Sauter said it was an Indian, but the others thought not ; that 
the Indians wonlcl not run horses in daylight that close to camp, 
and then kept on with their work. It seems that the Indians had 
not as yet discovered the presence of white men, so that when 
one of them commenced to whet a scythe blade he looked towards 
them quickly, and then left the horses and ran across the creek 
out of sight. The three boys now made a circle in the prairie not 
far from the present residences of August and Fritz Rothe, and 
then came back towards the waterhole. When near there they 
saw four saddled horses in a liveoak grove. Not knowing for 
certain that it was Indians, they rode on and came near them. 
An Indian now jumped up from among the horses and gave a 
keen whistle. He had heard the noise of the horses' feet on the 
rocks. When he whistled, three other Indians came from cover 
near the waterhole and advanced rapidly towards their horses. 
Two of these Indians had guns. One mounted and sat on his 


horse and the others stood on the ground, the one with his gun 
ready to shoot, all four intently watching the young cowboys as 
they slowly rode around them. The boys only had two six- 
shooters in their party, and some of the loads of these had been 
fired at a fox before they knew that Indians were around. The 
Indians all mounted now and rode off across the creek, and the 
boys went back to the grass-cutters and told them of the Indians. 
One man was just preparing to start with a keg to the waterhole 
for water, and would have been killed by the Indians if the boys 
had not come upon them and caused the Indians to leave their 
ambush and go away. The hay camp was not at the water, but 
near enough to get their supply there. The Indians were watch- 
ing for some one to come after water. 

The Indian alarm was raised in the country, and a scout made 
up which followed the trail into the mountains, but the hostiles 
made their escape. 

In the spring of I860 August Kothe, George Miller, Herbert 
Weynandj and Jacob Sauter left the settlement on Seco, near 
Fort Lincoln, and went to hunt oxen on the Hondo at a place 
called "sink of the water." These places are at or near the mouth 
of all the canyons through which these mountain streams flow. 
The water sinks here in the accumulation of heaps of gravel that 
for ages has been piling up. Sometimes the water will break out 
again many miles below. 

The boys were all young. Weynand was about 12 years of age, 
and the youngest. The others were some years older. They 
made their camp at the sinks, and then commenced to hunt their 
oxen. Sauter found his oxen the first day, and went home. 

The same day, while August Rothe was hunting his oxen in 
the mountains, about 2 o'clock in the evening, he found old man 
Ludwig Mummie, who had been lost part of two days and a 
night. He was very hungry, and almost delirious. He had lost 
his way trying to come through the mountains from Bandera to 
D'Hanis. Rothe took him to their camp, and when he had been 
refreshed with food and coffee he mounted his horse and went on 
home, although the boys begged him to stay. He had a good 
gun. pistol, and plenty of cartridges, and had he stayed would 
no doubt have averted the terrible tragedy which was enacted the 
next morning at this camp, in which one of the boys lost his life 
and another was carried off into captivity, never more to return, 


and which caused two families to mourn the loss of loved ones. 
After Mummie left, Kothe went to see about the horses, and soon 
heard firing in camp. He at once hastened back, and found that 
George Miller had nearly emptied Rothe's pistol at a tree. The 
pistol was the only weapon in camp. August said, "George, you 
should not have done that. I have no more loads, and now sup- 
}30se the Indians should come upon us." Weynand spoke up and 
said he had a little powder and two buckshot in his pocket. There 
was one load left in the pistol, and August took the two buck- 
shot, and by patching them like loading a rifle, charged two more 
chambers of the pistol, making three in all. Next morning 
.after breakfast Rothe and Weynand went to get the horses, which 
had gotten a mile and a half from camp with hobbles on, which 
was an unusual thing for them to do. It consumed about two 
hours to find the horses. Rothe tied his horse and Miller's to- 
gether and led them back. Weynand had his bridle with him, 
so he mounted his horse and rode back. The camp was situated 
on the bluff bank of the Hondo, and in the rear was a small rocky 
hill. Four hundred yards further was a high, rocky mountain. 
When Rothe and Weynand got near the small rocky hill in the 
hear of the camp, and before they could see the latter, they met 
George Miller coming in a run with a scared look upon his face, 
who said that a lot of Indians were under the bluff watering their 
horses. At first Rothe thought that Miller was trying to fool 
them, and stood a few moments, but soon saw by his pale face 
that it was no joke. Miller said he was lying down smoking a 
pipe and heard the rattle of the rocks as the Indians came up the 
bed of the creek to the water, and not knowing what it was, 
walked to the bluff and looked over, and was very close to them. 
Up to this time the Indians had not seen the camp, but saw Mil- 
ler when he looked over the bluff at them, and then turned to 

The Indians had to run down the creek bed a short distance 
before they could find a place where they could ascend the steep 
bank. While Miller was telling this, they heard the rattling of 
the rocks as the Indians were coming out of the bed of the creek 
to chase Miller, not having as yet discovered the other two boys. 
In a very short time the Indians were close upon them, eight in 
number and all mounted. Rothe had no time to untie the two 
horses so that he and Miller could make their escape on them, 

.!(■(; CSV R OF I IE. 231 

and said to George, "We must run for the mountain. If we get 
to it before they kill us we may get away." He then told young 
Weynand to run up the road as fast as he could to McCay's ranch, 
several miles distant. The boy did so, and he and Miller set off 
at full speed to the mountain, pursued by five of the Indians. 
Three ran after Weynand. The Indians came close, yelling, and 
Rothe drew his pistol and waved it as he ran. When near the 
base of the mountain Miller gave out and said he could go no 
further. "Bun ! run \" said Rothe, as he pointed his pistol back 
at the Indians, who were close upon them, and still continued 
himself to make desperate efforts to reach cover. The Indians 
were afraid of Rothe's pistol, and would dodge when he aimed 
at them, and this would give him a chance to make another spurt 
ahead, and in this way he succeeded in getting a short distance 
up the mountain. He then stopped, nearly exhausted, and looked 
back. The Indians saw Miller was not armed, and one of them 
caught hold of him just as Rothe looked back. The boy jerked 
loose, and again ran towards the mountain. An Indian then ran 
up to him and struck him over the head with a lance. George 
staggered from side to side, but still continued to try to run. An 
Indian then ran ahead of him and aimed a lance at his breast,, 
and Miller stopped. Rothe thought that Weynand had made his 
escape, but. at this time heard him scream, and looking in that 
direction saw an Indian have him by the hair and pulling him 
out of some bushes. AVhether the boy fell off the horse or jumped 
off could not be told. This was the last Rothe ever saw of him. 
for he himself was compelled again to run. «Two of the Indians 
had carried Miller back to camp, and the other three were coming 
up the mountain on their horses after him. ^he Indians were 
all on sorry horses but one, and he came so close to Rothe that 
he recognized the horse as belonging to Cosgrove, who had a 
ranch on Seco where John Reinhart now lives. This fellow, 
whom Rothe thinks was a Mexican, had on a hickory shirt. His 
face was brown, nose flat, and he said in fair English that he was 
going to have the white man's scalp. The others he knew were 
all Indians; they wore the garb, and had long black hair. The 
other two flanked the hard-pressed youth and tried hard to get 
around him, but the way was steep and rough and difficult for 
horses to ascend. The one on the Cosgrove pony came so close- 
that Rothe concluded to risk one shot at him. and stopped and. 


aimed his pistol. The fellow, however, wheeled his horse quickly 
behind some liveoak bushes, but at the same time sent an arrow 
which hit the muzzle of Eothe's pistol, glanced down, and went 
through his pants leg, just grazing the skin. The other two 
now commenced shooting, and the arrows came from both ways, 
but their aim was bad, owing to the strained position they were 
in on the steep hillside. Eothe could hear the arrows pass him, 
and once more made an effort to reach the top of the mountain, 
pointing his pistol as if about to tire when they came close, and 
thus gaining a little time and pushing on. The Indians seemed 
to be very much afraid of the pistol, but if they had konwn the 
true condition it was in would have crowded upon him and no 
doubt have succeeded in getting his scalp, for on examination 
afterwards it was discovered that one of the loose-fitting buckshot 
had dropped out in his flight, and the good load, as he supposed, 
failed to fire when tried. The only shot he had was the other 
buckshot that still remained in the chamber. Two Indians now 
went back down the mountain, and the one on the brown pony 
tried to pass around Mr. Eothe and turn him back. The hard- 
pressed man, although nearly exhausted, managed to keep ahead 
of him. The Indian when he discovered that his two companions 
had quit the chase and gone back beat a hasty retreat himself. 
When Mr. Eothe finally succeeded in reaching the top of the 
mountain, which was quite elevated and steep, he stopped and 
looked back into the valley below, but could see nothing of the 
Indians. He now continued his flight and went down the moun- 
tain on the other side, and finally laid down in a dense thicket, 
and there came near dying from over-exertion. When sufficiently 
recovered to travel he w r ent to McCay's ranch and also to that of 
Miller, to tell them the news. McCay got four men together, and 
led by Eothe went back to the camp. The first thing they saw 
when they arrived there was Miller's shoes, close together, like a 
man would place them in retiring for the night. A short search, 
and Miller's dead body w r as found under the bluff near the water, 
where the unfortunate young man had first seen the Indians. 
He was stripped except as to one sock, and his hands were tied 
behind him with a pair of hobbles so tightly drawn that the 
flesh was cut to the bone. He was lanced in the left side and the 
jugular vein in the neck was cut. He was not scalped or in any 
other way mutilated, except the bruise on the head where he was 


hit with a lance at the time of the capture 1 . Mr. Rothe said that 
wlu-n he went to tHl the Miller family of the death of George, 
he would rather June faced the Indians again that have done so. 
Young Miller was well liked by all who knew him. Before they 
got to the camp McCay said he did not believe the boys were 
killed, as lie thought they could have killed August and George 
both before they got to the mountain if they had wanted to. 
They never shot at Rothe until they saw he was about to make 
his escape. The body of Miller was taken to Fort Lincoln and 
buried. A scout followed the Indians from D'Hanis under 
Captain Joe Xoy. and they were overtaken, but they scattered 
into the mountains and nothing could be done with them. Some 
horses which they had stolen at Quihi were recovered, and also 
the horse, saddle, and bridle of Herbert Weynand, but the cap- 
tive boy was never heard of again by anyone in this country. 

August Rothe was several days recovering from his over-exer- 
tion, and drank water almost constantly for three days. These 
were the same Indians who killed Buchaloe on the Sabinal, and 
then came on down and got Cosgrove's horses. 

It seems that everything worked against the two unfortunate 
boys. Miller and Weynand, and that they were doomed. In the 
first place, had Mummie remained with them, well armed as he 
was, they might have kept the Indians off. If the horses had 
not been so far from camp that morning the Indians would only 
have found a deserted camp, as they intended going home as soon 
as the horses could be caught up and saddled. There was a place 
below called the Mustang waterhole, and to this place the Indians 
went first to water their horses, but it had dried up, and they 
moved on to the next at the cam]). This was ascertained by fol- 
lowing their trail. Had not Miller looked over the bluff when 
he heard the rocks rattle the Indians might not have discovered 
the camp. etc. 

August Rothe saw Dr. Woodbridge three days after the fight 
at Carrizo, and said the back of his neck was badly swollen and 
bruised, the effect of the blow from the Indian which knocked 
the doctor from his horse. Dr. Woodbridge said the Indian hit 
him with a bow, which came near breaking his neck. In 1872 the 
father of the Rothe boys died. In this 'same year August and his 
brother Fritz started to Bandera, and at Quihi Pass came upon 
five Indians and a sharp fight ensued, in which fifteen shots were 


fired. The Bothes were armed with Winchesters, and by some 
means so were the Indians. Fritz was riding a young horse, 
and he became so badly frightened at the yelling and firing as 
to be unmanageable, and his rider was not able to work his gun 
properly. The Indians had twenty-five head of horses, and were 
first seen by the white men. Fritz -said, "Who are those over 
yonder ?" August said, "Indians !" his brother thought not. 
About this time the Indians discovered the white men and 
dropped back behind their horses so as to get together. They 
now made a charge, and the Bothes ran up a bare hill where 
there was no protection, but stopped to make a fight. One In- 
dian came very close and August shot at him, but the Indian 
was keen-sighted, dodged behind his horse, and avoided being hit. 
Another shot was fired quickly, which struck under the horse 
and caused the Indian to straighten up very suddenly, as he 
was hanging low down on the opposite side of his horse. The 
Indians now divided, and some went around the hill so as to cut 
them off if they attempted to come down. All of this time the 
Indians were firing rapidly. August saw one whose body was 
exposed sitting upright on his horse with his gun in the act of 
shooting, and both fired at each other about the same time. The 
ball from the Indian's gun almost grazed Bothe's head, and the 
Indian fell to the ground, bringing his saddle with him. He 
succeeded in crawling to a tree, but left his gun where he fell. 
The other Indians now came back to this one, and the white men 
left the hill and continued their course to Bandera. They had 
not gone far before they discovered two Indians in ambush ahead 
of them. August held up his gun and advanced upon them, and 
they gave way without a fight. 

In 1873 August had one more bout with Indians near the Me- 
dina Biver. They tried hard to ambush him and cut him off into 
a trap, but he outgeneraled them and got clear. These were the 
last wild Indians he ever saw. 

The Bothe brothers, by strict attention to stock, have been very 
successful, now having 100,000 acres of land, 85,000 of which is 
fenced. They have had at times 16,000 head of cattle and many 
hundred head of horses. While the writer was at the house of 
Mr. Fritz Bothe he related a circumstance of early times out 
west, which shows what kind of a country it was at that time as 
to game and wild animals. Mr. Jack Davenport was out hunt- 


ing one day, he said, near the Sabinal River, and killed a deer. 
There was a large mesquite tree near, and to this he dragged the 
deer and proceeded to skin it. Two more deer now came up and 
snorted at him. Jack reloaded and fired until he killed both of 
them, and brought them to the same tree. While stooping over 
at work he suddenly felt something clutch at his shirt collar be- 
hind. Turning quickly, he saw a large panther reared up behind 
him. His gun was not loaded, and he backed off, loading as he 
went, the jjanther following. He killed this one, and happening 
to glance up the tree saw another, which he also killed. Three 
deer and two panthers under one tree, you might say, killed in 
a pile. 



Came to Texas in 1855. 

J. W. Gardner, who lives near Big Foot postoffice, in Frio 
County, is one of the many Texans who hear scars on their 
bodies, relies of wounds put there by the heavy hand of the red 
man as he retreated, delivering his blows against the pale face in 
a desperate but futile effort to stay the advance of civilization 
toward the great west. 

Joseph G. Gardner, father of the subject of this sketch, was a 
native of middle Tennessee, but moved from there to Lousiana, 
where his son J. W. Gardner was born in 1851. The family 
came to Texas in 1855 and settled in Atascosa County, but again 
moved in 1861 and settled near "Old Frio Town," in Frio 
County. They stayed at that place four years and then moved to 
Guadalupe County, settling fifteen miles south from Seguin, in 
the Sandies country. Here, in 1869, the elder Gardner died, and 
was buried at the "Sandies Chapel Church." The widow Gard- 
ner with her children now moved back to Frio County and settled 
where Mr. J. W. Gardner now lives, seven miles south from De- 
vine and three miles from Big Foot postoffice. Here, in 1871, 
young Gardner hired to Mr. Simpson McCoy to drive cattle out 
to the Nueces Eiver near where Cotulla now is, or to be more 
exact, seven miles above, at the Lago Cochina, or Hog Lake. 
About one week after arriving at this place the Indians made a 
raid in the vicinity of the ranch. This was about the middle of 
the summer. The people here were not aware of the presence 
of Indians in the country, and were not as much on the alert as 
they would have been otherwise. On the morning that this fron- 
tier episode which we are now about to narrate took place, J. W. 
Gardner went out very early in the morning on foot to hunt 
some horses which were to be used that day in their business of 
handling stock. The men at the ranch at this time were Simpson 
McCoy, A. F. Gardner, J. C. Gardner (brothers of J. W.), W. 
M. Wilkins, John De Spain, Joe Gulp, Howell, and Burk — two 
last given names not remembered. Besides the men above men- 
tioned, there were the families of McCoy, A. F. Gardner, John 

./. W. GARDNER. 243 

De Spain, and Duncan Lemons, the latter being absent at the 
time. When young Gardner had left the ranch house about half 
a mile he discovered a man on horseback ahead of him and com- 
ing- in his direction. He was a curious looking fellow, and Gard- 
ner, thinking it was an Indian, turned to run, but the man said 
in a loud voice in the Spanish language, "Parity ! parity !" (stop ! 
stop!). Thinking now by his language that it was a Mexican, 
and from having on a hat, Gardner stopped and looked back, but 
discovered that the supposed greaser was drawing an arrow from 
the quiver at his back, and had a bow in his other hand. Being 
now thoroughly frightened, the youth turned and fled, pursued 
by the Indian, who adjusted an arrow to the string as he ran, and 
on coming within range let it fly at the boy, who had gotten about 
seventy-five yards from the starting point. This first arrow 
wounded him in the left arm, and passing through also inflicted 
a wound in the side. 

By this time twelve more Indians had shown themselves, all 
on horseback, and commenced closing around Gardner in a circle. 
Seeing there was no chance to get through them, he ran into a 
thick clump of persimmon bushes and stopped. One Indian rode 
up close to him and by signs demanded his hat. This was 
promptly obeyed, and then signs were made for him to run and 
the direction to go. Looking that way, the boy saw an Indian 
sitting on his horse whom he supposed was the chief from his 
head dress, which was profuse with feathers. 

L"p to this time the Indians had been very quiet, not wishing 
to alarm the men at the ranch, for no doubt they had investigated 
and knew the situation and were looking for the ranch horses, 
and also expecting to catch some settler alone and kill him, which 
now seemed to be the fate of Gardner. The young man had called 
several times for help, but was made to hush by the Indians after 
he was wounded and they caught up with him. The rest of the 
Indians stopped a short distance off, some with their horses' heads 
turned one way and some the other, leaving an open space be- 
tween them of ten yards or more. Gardner, although badly 
wounded and bleeding, fully took in the situation at a glance, 
and made up his mind to make a desperate run through the open 
space between the Indians and try to gain the ranch. 

In an attempt to carry out this plan he darted forth, at the 
same time calling loudly for help. The Indians followed on 


horseback and one of them shot him with an arrow, striking the 
right side under the shoulder blade, and then ran his horse over 
him, knocking him down. The boy arose and still attempted 
to flee, calling at the top of his voice for help. The men at the 
ranch heard the cries and soon McCoy, Culp, Howell, De Spain, 
and A. F. Gardner came to his assistance. The Indians, seeing 
the white men coming, no longer tried to conceal their presence, 
but commenced to yell and fire pistols at Gardner, and the one 
who ran over him with his horse came close and aiming a pistol 
at the back of his head at close range fired. The ball struck on 
the right side of the neck, barely missing the neck bone, and 
came out under the jaw. Many other shots were fired, but this 
was the only bullet that hit him. By this time the ranchmen 
were on the scene, and taking trees on the Indians commenced 
firing on them: When struck by the pistol ball young Gardner 
fell to his knees, but regained his feet and ran about thirty yards 
further, and then commenced staggering— the earth, trees, every- 
thing faded from sight, and he felt that he was going down. 
Deafness to some extent came on. The yelling of the Indians 
and firing of guns sounded far away, although they were so near. 
About this time he was jerked clear off the ground and he felt 
that he was going through space, tightly grasped by a strong arm. 
His brother, older than himself, had made his way to him in 
among the Indians, and taking him up under one arm and 
holding his gun in the other hand, made his way back, amid a 
shower of bullets and arrows, to the men who were fighting the 
battle. The nearest Indians to A. F. Gardner when he picked 
up his brother were within thirty steps, and although fired at re- 
peatedly, he was not touched except in his clothing. He had no 
time to stop and shoot until he gained the position of McCoy,, 
who was the leader of the frontiersmen. 

The Indians soon gave up the fight and left, and the white mem 
went back to the ranch with the wounded boy, who, besides the 
three wounds on the body, had seventeen holes in his clothing 
made by bullets and arrows. Seven of the settlers soon obtained 
horses and went in pursuit of the Indians and overtook them 
twenty miles from there on the Nueces Eiver, and another fight 
took place, which wound up in a standoff. The guns and pistols 
of the white men were in poor condition, and some of them could 
not be made to shoot at all. During the fight Mr. Burk, before 

/. IV. GARDNER. 245 

mentioned and given name not known, was hit in the top of the 
shoulder by a bullet, which penetrated the neck and lodged 
against the neck bone. The ball was cut out by J. A. Gardner 
with a pocket knife. 

After the Indians left the place where they wounded Gardner 
they crossed the Nueces Eiver and killed a Mexican who was 
herding horses for Jesse Laxson. The body was not found for 
some time after, as the Mexican made a run and was killed in 
the brush. 

It took young Gardner six weeks to recover sufficiently to be 
carried home. A runner was sent at once to notify his mother 
when he was first wounded, and she started at once to go to him, 
but in the meantime there had been a great rain, and when she 
arrived at the Nueces Eiver it was one and a half miles wide and 
her son was on the opposite side. Here she stayed several days 
and nights, but as it continued to rain there was no chance to 
cross. Men, however, swam back and forth every short while to 
let her know how her boy was, and when he was on the road to 
recovery and out of danger she went back home to take care of 
the smaller children. As this was below the mountains the 
country was low and flat and the waters ran off very slowly, 
sometimes remaining overflowed for several weeks at a time. 

Mrs. Gardner died in 1882. Mr. Gardner still lives on the 
old homestead place, and has a good farm. He has been married 
twice. His first wife w r as Miss Jennie Holmes, sister to Mr. 
Sam Holmes, who was killed in his store at Utopia by a burglar 
several years ago. His second and present wife was a Miss Lucy 




The following detailed account of an Indian raid in Comal 
County and the killing of Jesse Lawhon I get from an old 
copy of the Seguin Mercury, published by R. W. Rainey, and 
bearing date of July 21, 1855. The account is furnished by the 
Hon. William E. Jones, and is as follows : 

"Mr. Editor : It is a painful duty devolving upon me to com- 
municate to you the particulars of an Indian outrage just com- 
mitted in this neighborhood. On Saturday morning last Mr. 
Jesse Lawhon, who has been living with me for nearly two years 
in the capacity of overseer and manager of my farm and stock, 
went out accompanied by one of my negro men to drive up some 
oxen. About 11 o'clock the negro boy ran home afoot and bare- 
footed and wet to the hips, and told me he feared that Mr. Law- 
hon had been killed by the Indians ; that Mr. Lawhon and him- 
self were riding together in search of cattle, and when descend- 
ing a hill into the valley of one of the branches of Curry's Creek, 
near the foot of the mountains, they were attacked by. five In- 
dians who emerged from the bed of the creek and rushed upon 
them at full speed. They did not discover the Indians until 
within forty or fifty feet yards of them. Mr. Lawhon wheeled 
and ran in the opposite direction, while the boy dashed towards 
home. A large Indian, mounted on an American horse, pursued 
the boy. On arriving at the creek his horse plunged into it and 
fell. He jumped off and ran up the bank, when the Indian fired 
at him, the ball striking the ground beyond him. He then saw 
the other four pursuing Mr. Lawhon very closely on the hill, and 
then jumping into the channel of the creek, made his escape, and 
saw no more. 

"He stated from the beginning that one of the party was a 
white man and the other four Indians, naked and armed with 
guns. The white man was dressed in dark clothes with a white 
hat. He saw most distinctly the one that pursued him. After 
he had shot at him, and being not more than twenty steps from 
him, he thinks he can not be mistaken in saving that he was 


an Indian and not a Mexican. The boy has often seen Indians 
in Texas and has mixed a good deal with Mexicans, and as his 
statement is thus far the only evidence of the character of the 
party which we have, T thought it more proper to give them 
more fully than I should have done under other circumstances. 

"In the meantime the alarm had been given in the settlement 
and a party of men repaired to the scene, taking the boy along 
with them. On arriving there the Indians had left and Mr. Law- 
lion could not be seen, but the statements of the boy being all 
substantially confirmed by the horse tracks and other signs on 
the ground, they proceeded to search for him. His hat was 
found near the starting point ; his saddle, with the skirts and 
stirrups cut off, was found on the trail of the retreating savages 
about one mile off. Then they found the trail of his horse from 
the place where he was attacked, and followed it until they 
found the dead body in a thicket. He had been shot through 
the heart with a large ball, and his body and face otherwise 
bruised and cut. A blunt arrow was found by his side. He was 
wholly unarmed and compelled to trust to his horse for safety, 
and the horse he rode, although large and strong, was not fleet. 
He had evidently made a desperate struggle to save his life. 

"From the point at which he first discovered the Indians, he 
had turned, westward in the. direction opposite to that which they 
came, but soon being overtaken by his pursuers he wheeled by a 
short circuit, and leaping a large ravine, passed the place from 
which he had started, crossed the creek at the point from which 
the Indians had first issued, and ran up the hill on that side in 
the direction of home. Being overtaken again by his savage pur- 
suers, he dashed back again into the creek valley lower down, and 
there, among the small thickets and brush, he seemed to have been 
surrounded and hemmed in in an angle made by the creek im- 
passable here, it being a perpendicular bluff. Wheeling again, 
he burst through the Indians and regained the elevated ground, 
followed by the whole pack, and once more faced home. After 
running 400 or 500 yards across the heads of ravines he appeared 
to have been again overtaken, when in utter desperation he 
plunged down a bluff thirty feet high and nearly perpendicular, 
part of the distance his horse tearing up the rocks and crushing 
the brushwood in his downward course. At the foot of this bluff 
he landed in one end of a long thicket, and possibly might have 


escaped if he had abandoned his horse. None of the Indians fol- 
lowed him down the bluff, but the horse tracks indicated that a 
portion of them turned the point of the bluff and met him as he 
emerged from the point of the thicket and shot him. 

"Mr. Lawhon was an industrious and most worthy citizen, so- 
ber, moral, and of unimpeachable integrity, universally esteemed 
by all neighbors and acquaintances. He was about 2*5 years of 
age, of manly person, and gave the highest promise of usefulness 
to his country and honor to his family. He left a wife and two 
small children, who were in his lifetime dependent on him for 
their maintenance. " 

The writer will say here that Judge Jones was a prominent 
man in West Texas in his time, was a good lawyer, and held the 
position of district judge with dignity and ability. He presided 
at the first term of district court ever held in Seguin, and the 
house is still standing where it convened. It is now known as 
the Rust property. When the grand jury was impaneled on this 
occasion, there being no jury room, they assembled under a live- 
oak tree north of where the court was being held, and there pro- 
ceeded to business. The first bill they found was against one of 
the petit jurymen. This spot is now the property of G. W. L. 

The Jones family were brave, patriotic people, and did their 
part when Texas needed brave men on her border, where Mexican 
and Indian depredations were so frequent. 

When Capt. James H. Callahan organized an expedition into 
Mexico in 1855 to chastise a band of Indians who had taken ref- 
uge there after a raid in Texas, one of Judge Jones' sons (Willis) 
went with Callahan and was killed in the fight with Indians and 
Mexicans near Piedras Negras. 

Capt. Frank Jones, a brave and gallant ranger captain, was 
also a son of Judge Jones, and was killed a few years ago in a 
desperate fight with Mexican robbers near the Eio Grande. Capt. 
Frank Jones was once a citizen of Uvalde. 

i— ■— BW 



Created in 1856. 

During the days of Indian raids in the west and southwest, 
Atascosa County did not escape, and has her bloody chapter in 
the frontier history of Texas. 

The county was created from Bexar in 1856, and named for 
the Atascosa Creek. The Navarros, Salinas, and others estab- 
lished stock ranches inside the present limits of the county at an 
early day, but were broken up during the Texas revolution and 
the Navarros moved further east and established ranches near 
the present town of Seguin, in Guadalupe County. 

In 1853 permanent settlements began to be made, and by the 
time the county was organized quite a number of settlers were 
located, among whom were Justo Rodrigues, Judge J. S. Fern, 
Calvin Horton, the Askins, Yarbers, Tumlinsons, Brights, Slaugh- 
ter, "Scotch" Jim Brown, Franks, Spears, James Lowe, Charles 
Hood, old man Terry, McCoys, and Dan Arnold. 

The first county seat was called Navatasco, and located twelve 
miles above the present one of Pleasanton. The land on which 
it was built was donated by Col. Antonio Navarro and named by 
him. The first half, it will be observed, was part of his own 
name, and the last the middle half of the name of the county of 
Atascosa. The first court was held here in the spring of 1857. 
Jose Antonio Navarro was a grand and noble man. He was born 
in San Antonio in 1795. His father was from Corsica. In 
1834-35 Antonio was land commissioner for Bexar district and 
De Witt's colony, a member of the convention of 1836, and one 
of the signers of the declaration of Texas independence. He 
loved Texas and her institutions, and was always ready to take 
up arms in her defense. He was in the unfortunate Santa Fe 
expedition as one of the commissioners, and was carried a captive 
with the balance of the Texans to Mexico, and there confined for 
years. Santa Anna hated him because he was of Spanish origin 
and a friend to Texas, and when the Americans of the expedi- 
tion were released, kept him in chains in the strong castle of San 
Juan d'lllloa. While he was chained down to a stone floor in 


the dark, clamp dungeon, Santa Anna offered to release him if 
he would renounce all allegiance to Texas and become a citizen 
of Mexico. The grand old man, with his gray locks damp with 
dungeon mold, scornfully rejected it and taunted Santa Anna 
with his perfidy, saying : "I am a Navarro. No traitor's blood 
runs in my veins. You can only do your worst with me. I will 
die chained on this prison floor before I will for a moment en- 
tertain a thought of accepting your insulting proposition." When 
Herrera became President he released Colonel Navarro and al- 
lowed him to return to Texas. He died in San Antonio in 1870, 
loved and respected by all who knew him. 

In 1858 a new county seat was laid off on the west bank of 
the Atascosa Creek and named Pleasanton, after General Pleas- 
anton. John Bowen donated the land and named it. He was an 
intimate friend of the general. It is situated thirty-five miles 
south of San i^ntonio. Many settlers soon began to come in. 
The first one to settle and build, a house was E. B. Thomas, who 
also put up the first store in the prospective town. 

Soon after the town was laid off came Tobias Kelly, Calvin 
S. Turner, Judge Ferr}onan, J. H. Dorsey, Cap! . John Tom, Rev. 
W. W. Whitley (Methodist preacher), John W. Stayton, and V. 
Weldon. The two last named were brothers-in-law and partners 
in the blacksmith business, and also young law practitioners. 
This same V. Weldon came prominently before the people a few 
years ago in the congressional race against W. H. Crain in the 
Eleventh District. Dr. Pyrtle came soon after, and also another 
blacksmith named Garlinghouse and a German named Slickum. 
The latter put up a saloon and grocery store, backed by his part- 
ner, "Louis Zork, a. capitalist of San Antonio. The first county 
officers were : County judge, or chief justice, as it was then called, 
Marcellus French; sheriff, James H. French; county and district 
clerk, Daniel I. Tobin, brother of Capt. William Tobin, of San 
Antonio; assessor and collector, Ed Walker. W. H. Long was 
elected to the last named position, but for some cause did not 
serve. The first commissioners were Eli J. O'Brien, Levi Eng- 
lish, James Lowe, and J. A. Durand. The first district attorney 
was James Paul, and the first district judge E. F. Buckner. The 
first grand jury were William N. Gates, James McDonald, Jacob 
Ryman, Sexto Navarro, Gil Rodrigucs, James Brown, Jesus Her- 
nandez, James Feeder, Rich Hilburn, Isaac Cavender, Drake Gil- 


lelland, Thomas R. Bright, Tryon Fuller, Cullen Benson, and 
Calvin Horton. As far as is known, none of this first grand jury 
are now living. Calvin Horton died in Februar}-, 1898, at a very 
advanced age. 

About 185!) the Rev. Uzzel came and settled, and also a me- 
chanic named Carter. 

In the Somerset settlement, near the Bexar County line, were 
the Ducks, Klemkes, Millers, and Louis families. At Gates Val- 
ley were the families of Rutledge, Gardner, Gates, and Williams. 
Of the Spanish families were the Navarros, Flores, and Tiriens. 
The Musgroves, Barksdales, and O'Briens lived in town. Below 
town, on Laparita Creek, lived Juan Palacia, Captain Fountain, 
Jesse Lott, the Cook boys, and Dan Brister. On the Laguilinas 
were the Marshalls, Odens, Newtons, Lease Harris, and Tom 
Kerr. On Gal van Creek were R. G. Long and the Ca venders. 

Mr. Eli Johnson, one of the early settlers, and who still sur- 
vives, came from Montgomery County, Alabama, to Texas in 
1856, and first stopped in Guadalupe County, near Seguin. with 
the Sheffields and Olivers, but the same year came on out to 
Atascosa County with Ed Lyons and Jake Young. They settled 
on Salt Branch, seven miles from Pleasanton. 

In I860 Mr. Johnson joined a company of rangers commanded 
by Capt. Peter Tumlinson. They were stationed on the Sabinal 
River below the mountains. Their camp was attacked one night 
by Indians, who were beaten off without loss. 

On the 22d of May, 18(31, he was married to Miss Melissa 
Tucker. She died on the 16th of March, 1865. In 1869, on the 
2 2d day of February, he married the widow Mary Adams, whose 
maiden name was Lawhon. She died April 22, 1892. He again 
married, and his present wife w r as Miss Mildred E. J. Hurley. 

Mr. Johnson passed through all the exciting times when the 
country was raided by hostile Indians, and now lives on the Atas- 
cosa Creek three miles below town, where he is engaged in farm- 
ing and stock raising. He has 200 acres of land in cultivation, 
and a fine artesian well near his residence flowing fifty gallons 
of water per minute ; also a fine orchard of ten acres. Xo man 
stands higher in the estimation of the people who know him. 

Mrs. Amanda Turner, also one of the early settlers, and widow 
of Calvin S. Turner, still lives in Pleasanton, near where they 
settled in 1858. She was the daughter of Ezekiel Tucker, and a 


native Texan. She was also one of the first settlers of Hays 
•County, living there on the Little Blanco when very young. She 
was married to Calvin S. Turner in 1851, and moved to Guada- 
lupe County, near Seguin. In 1858 she came to Pleasanton. 
Mrs. Turner had four brothers — Columbus, George, Napoleon, 
and Marion. The latter went off with the Walker expedition, 
■and never returned. There were three sisters of them: Polly 
Ann married James C. Carr, now the rustling agent for the San 
Antonio Express; Melissa married Eli M. Johnson, of Pleasan- 
ton. Mrs. Turner kept hotel for many years and is known far 
and near. She has eight living children, four boys ( Gilbert, Eob- 
ert, Thomas, and Albert) and four girls (Sarah, Dallas, Anna, 
and Dora). Sarah married William Franks, who died at Eagle 
Pass ; Dallas married William A. Purgason, now merchant at 
Amphion ; Anna married Gus Clark, merchant of Pleasanton. 
Two have remained single — Gilbert and Dora. 

Calvin S. Turner was the son of Maj. Wiliam Turner, who 
•came to Texas in the early 40's. He was a soldier under General 
Jackson, and participated in the battles of Talladega, Tallahas- 
see, Horseshoe Bend, and New Orleans. He was twice severely 
wounded. Calvin was a ranger under Jack Hays, and took part 
in the battle of Salado in 1842. In this fight he was wounded 
in the head by a musket ball. He served through the Mexican 
war of 1846 in the famous regiment of rangers commanded by 
Col. Jack Hays, his old captain. He took part in the battles of 
Monterey and Buena Vista. 

After returning from Mexico he received a commission from 
Gov. P. H. Bell as second lieutenant in the ranger company com- 
manded by Henry E. McCulloch. He engaged in stock- 
raising after coming to Pleasanton, and also opened up a hotel. 
He served under Capt. John Tom part of the time as minuteman 
to repel Indian incursions, and participated in the Indian battle 
on San Miguel Creek. During one raid near town his Mexican 
herder was killed by Indians. During the civil war he was a 
lieutenant in Captain Maverick's company, Wood's regiment. 
He died in 1872, honored and respected by all who knew him. 

In 1861 the Indians made one of the most daring and ex- 
tensive raids ever known in Atascosa County. They were in large 
force and scattered all over the country, killed fourteen people, 
wounded manv more, and carried off a large lot of horses. They 


did not confine this raid to Atascosa alone, but spread death and 
destruction on their trail as they went back to the mountains. 
They killed "Mustang" Moore where the station of that name is 
now, on the International Railroad; James Winters on Black 
Creek, and Murray the tax assessor of Bandera County. At 
Pleasanton they killed William Herndon and a negro belonging 
to Marcellus French, and wounded Alexander Anderson and Eli 
O'Brien. These last named were all out from one to two miles 
from town, hunting stock, etc. Napoleon Tucker was with Bern- 
don, and being on a fast horse made his escape, at the earnest 
solicitation of Herndon, and brought the news of the presence of 
the Indians to the people in town. They first made their appear- 
ance in the settlement above, and Ed Lyons sent Alex Anderson 
on a fast horse to notify the people at Pleasanton. The Indians 
came upon him a mile from town and ran him in, shooting an 
arrow into his back. Xews now came fast, and there was great 
excitement. One of French's negroes was killed and another 
captured. Men continued to run in wounded, or their faces badly 
torn by limbs in their desperate flight from the Comanches. 

One of the most remarkable escapes was that of Eli O'Brien. 
He had gone out on that morning to hunt stock without gun or 
pistol, and had been warned by a neighbor, William Dillard, that 
it was not safe to go unarmed. His reply was, "There are no 
Indians in the country," and he went on. When about two miles 
from town he came upon a band of Indians in a blackjack and 
postoak timbered country. The Indians were sitting on their' 
horses under the trees, and as some of them had on hats which 
they had procured from men they had killed or chased, O'Brien 
thought they were cowmen. When they started towards him yell- 
ing he cried with a loud voice, "No use, boys; you can't scare 
me." When they came out from among the trees so that he could 
see them plainly and began to string their bows, the settler at 
once realized who they were and the great danger which now 
confronted him. Wheeling his horse, he started at once towards 
home with them in pursuit. His horse was a good one and they 
failed to run on him at once, and so divided their forces, running 
parallel with and to the right and left of him. He watched both 
sides closely and saw that he was gaining some on them, but 
failed to look behind until he felt the wind of an arrow near his 
head. Turning, he saw an Indian close behind him, and at the^ 


same time got an arrow in the back. His only weapon was a 
butcher knife, which he now drew when he saw that the Indian 
was going to get up beside him. Two more arrows, however, came 
in quick succession and fastened in his back. The Comanche now 
3 r elled loud, and making a sudden spurt came alongside of him 
and reached to pull the stricken man from his horse. O'Brien, 
with the strength of despair, made a stab at the Indian with his 
knife, who barely interposed his shield in time to catch the blow, 
and then stopped. The town was near, but the other Indians 
still tried to ride around the white man and turn him back. A 
most serious difficulty now came in the way, which caused the 
white man's heart to sink within him, and the Indians to yell 
loudly and urge their horses to greater speed. The cause of this 
was a deep and wide gully directly in front, ten feet across and 
the same in depth. There was no way to turn to avoid it without 
being cut off. I will say here that this is the reason that Indians 
in chasing a man run to the right and left of him, so if any ob- 
struction comes in the way and he is bound to turn, they can get 
him either way he may turn. One or more on good horses run 
straight behind so that he can not double on his track and dodge 
them or gain time. In this case the only chance for O'Brien was 
for his horse to safely leap the gully. If he fell the man was gone. 
It will be understood that all of this was done very quickly. 
There was no intermission in the speed of the horses ; all were 
doing their utmost, and the two miles from the place where the 
chase commenced had been passed over in a few minutes. 

When the Indians perceived that the white man was going to 
attempt the leap they yelled louder and fiercer, so as to terrify 
the horse and make him overdo himself or stumble or lea]) too 
quick, or anything which would be in their favor. When the 
brink was reached and the spring had to be made that meant life 
or death to him, O'Brien held his bridle lightly and let his horse, 
jump naturally making no extra motions with hands or feet, and 
the gallant animal passed safely over and had several feet to 
spare. Xo Indian attempted to follow, and all went back and 
gave up the chase. O'Brien was hardly able to sit on hisjiorse, 
and was swaying to and fro in the saddle when his horse dashed 
into the assembled and excited crowd in town. When he passed 
William Dillard's house, who had given him the advice that 
morning, and who knew from his speed that Indians had been 


after him. he exclaimed, "What's your hurry, O'Brien? There 
are no Indians in the country. " The arrows were removed, the 
spikes cut out, and the wounded man recovered. The horse was 
kept in the O'Brien family as long as he lived, and tenderly cared 

Eli Johnson and others went out and brought in the body of 
Herndon. The citizens, not thinking they were able to cope with 
such a body of Indians alone, sent a runner east for help, and 200 
men came from Gonzales and Guadalupe counties, under com- 
mand of Captain Eabb. Eli Johnson with a minute company, 
aided in scouting, and it was perceived that the Indians had left 
the country and gone back to the mountains, Idling people and 
capturing stock as they went. They were not to get back, how- 
ever, without a battle. Big Foot Wallace, with the Hondo and 
Sabinal settlers, defeated them in a battle in the mountains and 
recaptured 200 head of horses from them. 

Judge A. G. Martin, who still lives at Pleasanton, was one of 
the early settlers of Atascosa County. He came to San Antonio 
in 1849, and was with the first train that ever went through to 
El Paso. The same year he went to Seguin and located there. 
When he arrived at Seguin a big Methodist meeting w r as in pro- 
gress, and this fact was the real cause of his settling there. He 
stopped to attend it, and liked the people and country so well he 
concluded to make his home there. For a while he worked in the 
county clerk's office under Paris Smith, and in 1854 was elected 
district clerk over John F. Gordon. Fie came to Atascosa County 
in 1856, built a house, and then went back for his family and 
returned in 185?. 

In 1864 he was elected county clerk, but during the days of re- 
construction he was removed and another put in his place. He 
was disfranchised, not allowed a vote, and as the judge expressed 
it, "Not given a negro's chance." When restored to citizenship, 
he was elected district and county clerk in 1873. He held this 
office seventeen years, and was elected county judge and held one 
term, refusing to be a candidate for office any more. The pres- 
ent county jail was built during his term of county judge and 
under his supervision. It is one of the best jails in the west. It 
is built of red sandstone and brick, the stone being on the inside. 
It is two stories, commodious, and with strong iron cages. The 
first jail here was a hole in the ground, with some roofing over- 


head to keep the rain out. It was twelve feet deep, and was cov- 
ered with a raised trap door and fastened with a padlock. The 
writer was here in 1872, and saw the sheriff put a man in this 

Judge Martin has four sons. The eldest, J. L. Martin, was 
born at Seguin. By profession he is a lawyer, and at one time 
was county judge of Kinney County. He served in the Twenty- 
fourth Legislature, and in 1897 was appointed district judge of 
the Thirty-eighth Judicial District on the death of Judge Eugene 
Archer, who held that position at the time of his death. When 
the next election came off he was elected to that position, and is 
the present incumbent. 

The second son, H. GL, was elected district clerk of Atascosa 
County. The third son, John B., is a printer by trade. The 
youngest, J. R. G., at this time is in Louisville, Ky., studying 

A. M. Avant, present sheriff of the county, was born and raised 
in Gonzales County. He came here in 1886, and is now serving 
his second term as sheriff. 

The present county judge, N. E. Wallace, better known to his 
friends as Jack Wallace, came to Seguin, Guadalupe County, in 
1876, and did a banking business there. Here he married Miss 
John Irvin, niece of the old San Jacinto veteran, Capt. John 
Tom. She has a sister named Tom, so you see their two names 
make that of their beloved uncle, John Tom, for whom they were 
named. They are called Johnnie and Tommy by their intimate 
friends. Judge Wallace came to Pleasanton in 1880, and was 
elected sheriff in 1883. He was elected county judge in 1894, 
and still holds that position. 

Judge W. H. Smith came to Pleasanton in 1867, and was 
elected to the office of presiding justice. He was then elected 
county judge, and held that position eight years. Was then tax> 
assessor for one term. Held the office then of treasurer. Is now 
practicing law, and is the oldest male resident of the city. 

MRS. R. D. KENNEDY. 257 


Born in 1856. 

At this writing (1889), in Sabinal Canyon, Bandera County, 
there lives the daughter of a famous Texas ranger who fol- 
lowed the fortunes of Jack Hays on the Texas border and stood 
by his side during many bloody encounters, both with hostile In- 
dians and treacherous Mexicans. This daughter is Mrs. R. D. 
Kennedy, wife of Mr. Houston J. Kennedy, and daughter of 
George Jefferson Neill, who died in Travis County a few years- 
back. Her grandfather was the Colonel Xeill who commanded 
the artillery at the storming of San Antonio in 1835. He bom- 
barded the Alamo to draw the attention of the Mexicans from 
Col. Ben Milam, who was entering the town on the other side 
with a storming party. Mrs. Kennedy was born in Comal 
County, Texas, in 1856, on York's Creek, near the Guadalupe 
and Hays County line. She was married to Mr. Kennedy at 
Seguin, Guadalupe County, in 1875, Eev. Buck Harris perform- 
ing the ceremony. 

Her father, George Xeill, while a member of a ranging com- 
pany commanded by Jack Hays, participated in the famous In- 
dian fight at Bandera Pass. The rangers on that occasion were 
ambushed in the pass, and a most desperate fight took place, in 
which five of the rangers were killed and some wounded. Among 
the latter was Uncle Ben Highsmith, the old San Jacinto vet- 
eran who still survives, and now lives in Blanket Creek Canyon, 
Bandera County. A more detailed account of this fight is given 
in the sketch of Mr. Highsmith. Mr. Neill was also in the charge 
on the battery at the Hondo, when the Mexicans halted to fight 
the pursuing Texans after their disastrous defeat at Salado. It 
was Jack Hays and his rangers who made this charge and cap- 
tured the cannon, shooting the gunners down with their pistols. 

Mr. Houston Kennedy, while not being a noted Indian fighter, 
was a cowboy in his young days, and made four trips with cattle 
up the Chisholm trail to Kansas, when that route was infested 
with hostile Indians, and has had many narrow escapes. 



While on one of these trips, after they had crossed the Texas 
line and entered the Indian Territory, ten cattle herds were en- 
camped near each other on Pond Creek. This traveling of the 
herds close together on the trail was for mutual protection, and 
accounts for so many herds getting through to Kansas without be- 
ing captured by the hostiles. This number of herds generally had 
more than 100 cowboys with them, most all of them being brave 
and good Indian fighters. The bands of roving Comanches and 
Kiowas would not dare face a band of Texas cowboys like this, 
but would wait for an opportunity to catch two or three together 
on the back track after lost horses, or ahead hunting water, or 
anything else that would carry them away from the protection 
of their comrades. In charge of one of these herds at Pond 
Creek was Mr. Ed Chambers, an old cattle boss. The trail forked 
here where his herd had stopped, and he in company with 
two cowboys went a considerable distance ahead to see which trail 
the majority of the herds were following. The country was 
mostly prairie, with depressions here and there deep enough for 
men to conceal themselves on horseback. Suddenly out of one 
of these draws in front of them rode ten Indians. The two cow- 
boys wheeled their horses and started back rapidly, pulling their 
sixshooters as they ran. Chambers, thinking they were friendly 
Creeks or Caddoes on a buffalo hunt, galloped slow, .telling the 
boys to stop, the Indians would not hurt them. In a short time 
the Comanches, for such they were, came close upon them, yell- 
ing and shooting. These Comanches were on a buffalo hunt, and 
had long-range and large bore guns. Chambers fell from his 
horse the first fire, shot through the body, and some of the band 
stopped and soon finished him and scalped him. The other two 
men, seeing they could not assist their dead companion, put their 
horses to their utmost speed to make their own escape. One In- 
dian came up with the hindmost of the fleeing men and almost 
yelled in his face. The cowboy had his pistol ready and promptly 
shot him from his horse, and the balance turned back. When the 
two cowboys arrived in camp and told the news a detail of one 
man from each herd was sent back after the body of the unfor- 
tunate boss. From the Perkins herd, the one to which Mr. Ken- 
nedy belonged, they sent J. C. Neill, brother-in-law of Mr. Ken- 
nedy. When the party arrived at the scene of the chase the In- 
dians were gone, and had carried off the body of the one the cow- 

MRS. R. D. KENNEDY. 259 

boy had shot. It seems that the Indian was not quite dead, as a 
place was found where the others had rolled him around on the 
ground and had probed his wound with coarse straws of prairie 
grass, the blood on the straws showing they had probed six inches. 
On examining the body of Chambers it as found that the Indians 
had taken neither his watch nor money. The body was taken 
back and buried on Pond Creek, where the herds were camped. 
This was about twenty-five miles from Caldwell, on the Kansas 

Mr. Kennedy also tells of many exciting buffalo chases on 
these trips. 

The writer has had some experience on the frontier as a 
ranger, and learned that it is best when a few men have to fight 
a superior force of Indians, unless they can get to a good cover, 
to make as long a run as possible, in order to scatter the Indians 
in pursuit and fight them in detail, as they do not all ride horses 
of the same speed. In this way they only fight the Indians on 
the fastest horses. If a stand is made without cover, they all get 
around him. 

Mr. Kennedy was born in Jackson Parish, La., in 1847, and 
came to Texas in 18.69. He is on his mother's side, who w r as a 
Perkins, related to Gen. Joseph Warren, who was killed at the 
battle of Bunker Hill at the commencement of the revolutionary 
war. It may not be generally known to Masons that General 
Warren was at the time of his death grand master of all Masons 
in America. In regard to this I quote from "History of Free- 
masonry in America," by Z. A. Davis, page 284, published in 

"In the year 1773 a commission was received from the right 
honorable and most worshipful Patrick, earl of Dumfries, grand 
master of Masons in Scotland, dated March 3, 1772, appointing 
the right worshipful Joseph Warren, Esq., grand master of Ma- 
sons for the continent of America, 

"In 1775 the meetings of the Grand Lodge were suspended by 
the town of Boston becoming a. garrison. 

"At the battle of Bunker Hill, on the 27th of June, this year, 
Masonry and the Grand Lodge met with a heavy loss in the death 
of Grand Master Warren, who was slain contending for the lib- 
eration of his country. 

"Soon after the evacuation of Boston by the British army, and 


previous to any regular communication, the brethren, influenced 
by a pious regard to the memory of the late grand master, were 
induced to search for his body, which had been rudely and in- 
discriminately buried on the field of slaughter. They accordingly 
repaired to the place, and by the direction of a person who was 
on the ground at the time of the burial, a spot was found where 
the earth had been recently turned up. Upon moving the turf 
and opening the grave, which was on the brow of a hill and ad- 
jacent to a small cluster of sprigs, the remains were discovered 
in a mangled condition, but were easily ascertained by an arti- 
ficial tooth, and being decently raised, were conveyed to the 
State house in Boston, from whence, by a large and respectable 
number of brethren, with the late grand officers attending in pro- 
cession, they were carried to the stone chapel, where an animated 
eulogy was delivered by Brother Perez Morton. The body was 
then deposited in the silent vault without a sculptured stone to 
mark the spot, but as the whole earth is the sepulchre of illus- 
trious men, his fame, his glorious actions, are engraven on the 
tablet of universal remembrance, and will survive marble monu- 
ments or local inscriptions. 

"In 1777, March 8th, the brethren, who had been dispersed in 
consequence of the war, being now generally collected, they as- 
sembled to take into consideration the state of Masonry. Being- 
deprived of their chief by the melancholy death of their grand 
master, as before mentioned, after due consideration they pro- 
ceeded to the formation of a Grand Lodge, and elected and in- 
stalled the Most Worshipful Joseph Webb their grand master.' 7 



Born in Texas in 1857. 

Although not an old man when the writer interviewed Mr. 
Yan Pelt in 1'897, still he was one of the early settlers and pio- 
neers of Frio Canyon. He was bom at Pririe Lea, Caldwell 
County, Texas, on the last day of May, 1857. This is a noted 
year to old Texans, and is still called by some of them the "starv- 
ing year." This was the year of the great drought, when no 
crops were made, and many families went without bread for 
weeks at a time. The writer well remembers that hard year, 
and what a struggle it was to get bread. To get meal was out of 
the question after the supply which was on hand at the first part 
of that year was exhausted. There was no flour or wheat in the 
country, and there were no railroads in Texas to bring supplies. 
Ox teams had to be sent to Port Lavaca after flour, and it took 
a long time to make the round trip of 500 miles or more. The 
struggle was to keep from starving until the wagons could get 
back. This has reference to the upper San Marcos and Guada- 
lupe country. People living further east did not have quite as 
hard a time. 

One can imagine what rejoicing there was in the settlement 
when the flour wagons, as w T e called them, arrived. The flour 
came high, $18 per barrel. The neighbors in a settlement would 
raise money enough to load several wagons with flour at the port, 
and some of those who had large wagons and five or six yoke of 
oxen would make the trip, and they w r ere paid so much per bar- 
rel for hauling. If my memory is not at fault, it quit raining 
about the last days of February, and none fell again until the 5th 
day of August. Creeks dried up, there was no grass, and cattle 
died by the thousands all over the country. We could not even 
get beef to eat or milk to drink. 

The Van Pelts moved to Frio Canyon in August, 1860, when 
Joe was about 3 years old. That was at the time of the great 
flood in the Frio River, and the house in which the Van Pelts 
spent their first night in the canyon was surrounded by water. 
When morning came there was no chance to get out to high 


ground, and they were compelled to remain until the water fell. 
Fortunately the house was not carried away. One of the first 
things Joe became familiar with as he grew up was moccasin 
tracks and the almost constant alarm of Indians in the settle- 
ment. He went on many scouts after Indians when quite young, 
and grazed danger many times. Indian tracks were often seen 
in the field where they stole potatoes and roasting ears. 

In 1878 Joe went to Uvalde with his father, Capt. Malcom 
Van Pelt, and on their return had quite an exciting time with a 
band of Indians. They first passed a drove of sheep belonging 
to W. B. Knox, being controlled by Davy Brown and herded by a 
Mexican. The Van Pelts stopped and got a drink of water from 
the herder, who gave it to them out of his canteen. About one 
mile from where they got the water was a dense thicket with mes- 
quite brush around it. When opposite the thicket, but out of 
gunshot of it, three Indians showed themselves in the open brush 
on the opposite side to them and commenced yelling. Now, Joe 
was young and not much afraid of Indians, as he had said many 
times, and really wanted to have a fight with them. As soon as 
he saw the painted and feather-bedecked hostiles he jumped from 
his horse and pulled his Winchester to make his threat good of 
being change for any reasonable number of Comanches. The 
old captain, however, had fought Indians before, so pulling his 
gun and making ready to shoot, told his son to get back on his 
horse. One of the Indians, who rode a bald-face horse, was very 
conspicuous in his endeavors by yelling and other demonstrations 
to induce the white men to run to the thicket. To run was the 
very thing the captain intended to do as soon as he got Joe 
mounted again, but not to the thicket. He feared more Indians 
were around, and being on good horses, thought best to make a 
run for it down the road and see what it would develop. When 
Joe got on his horse he made for the thicket near by, but his 
father told him not to go in there, but to hit the road and warm 
up that pony behind with his quirt. The young frontiersman 
acted on this advice and soon a lively chase commenced, the old 
man bringing up the rear with his carbine ready to shoot if 
crowded too close. The captain told his son to dismount in the 
big thicket about a mile ahead. When Joe arrived at the place 
designated to make a stand he rushed in, but could not find a 
place that looked thick enough to stop in. In fact it seemed to 


li i m at the time that a jack jabbit could not find cover there. 
It seemed to Joe that he could hear a score of Indians coming 
at full speed and yelling at his heels, but in fact the hostiles had 
turned back, veiling defiance, and no one but the old man was 
crowding him. Not finding a place suitable in the thicket to 
dismount, he kept on, .and he and the captain arrived at home 
safely. It was found out afterwards that the Indians were ten 
in number, and seeing the two white men coming down the road, 
seven of them went into the thicket first mentioned in ambush, 
and the three were to give them a scare from the opposite side 
of the road and run them into the ambuscade. Shortly after the 
chase the Indians all got together and went to where the Mexican 
herder was who a few minutes before had given the Van Pelts 
water, and killed him. They were seen shortly after by another 
man, and there were ten of them together, and the tracks of the 
seven were found in the thicket. 

This same night Silas Webster, a merchant of Uvalde, was 
killed in his store for his money, but no clew to the murderers 
could be found. 

Shortly after this incident the Indians crossed Frio Canyon 
not far from where Joe Van Pelt now lives, and went on to- 
wards Dry Frio west, having a negro boy and a little white girl 
captive. Joe was one of the men who followed these Indians, 
but his horse gave out and he and several others had to return. 
The Indians were overtaken by another party and the captives 

About 1880 the Indians made their last raid in the vicinity 
of the Van Pelt settlement. They were followed by men from 
Frio and Sabinal under command of Henry Patterson. The 
Indians made a wide circle back to the Eio Grande and killed six- 
teen people. They killed a Mexican herder in the employ of Joe 
N~ey shortly after leaving Sabinal Canyon. He made a desperate 
fight with them, and killed one Indian. They scalped him, 
pulled off one shoe, left him face downward. The body was 
warm when Patterson's men arrived on the scene. Both arms of 
the unfortunate man were also broken. 

Two men were killed at Crouch's ranch a short time before 
the trailers came. One of the slain men had bled a great deal. 
They had six fine sheep tied in a hack, which the Indians also 
killed and cut the tongue out of one of them. iVnother man was 


killed on the Nueces Eiver near WestfalPs ranch. He had made 
a fight and also killed one Indian, and they did the same to him 
as they did to Ney's herder, — they pulled off both his boots and 
one sock, and left him on his face, scalped. The trailers were 
out of provisions, and coming upon a herd of sheep the captain 
told Joe Van Pelt to shoot one of them for the men to eat. Here 
Joe made quite a remarkable shot. His ball hit one sheep behind 
the ear, and then it went on fifty yards and struck another be- 
hind the shoulder, and killed both of them. Most of the people 
killed on this raid were Mexicans. 

The pursuit was kept up to the Rio Grande, the boundary line 
of Texas and Mexico, and Captain Patterson intended crossing 
and continuing the pursuit, as he had been joined by some 
United States soldiers, but there was a heavy rise in the river, 
.and they had to return without sighting the Indians. 

Mrs. Melod Van Pelt, wife of Joseph M. Van Pelt, was born 
in Taylor County, Virginia, and was the daughter of Richard 
Johnston, who was a cousin to the famous confederate leader, 
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. She is also a niece of Dr. Johnston 
•of San Antonio, and by marriage of some of her family connec- 
tions related to Gen. U. S. Grant. Mrs. Van Pelt has literary 
talent, and is now completing a book entitled "Truth Stranger 
and Sadder Than Fiction," which will no doubt be very inter- 
esting when completed. Mr. Van Pelt has a beautiful home, 
situated on the high bluff of the Frio River, whose sparkling 
and leaping waters are a relief to the eye by day and music to 
the ear at night. East and west are the mountains clothed in 
living green by the dense cedar brakes which start from the val- 
ley and climb the rugged, rocky heights to the crest of the highest 
peaks. Here for fifteen years Mrs. Van Pelt has lived and 
gathered many curiosities from the hills and caves around, and 
with them beautified and bedecked her home with artistic eye 
and hand. It was here in this far-away frontier valley, so unlike 
the old Virginia home, with these strange surroundings that the 
outlines of her book developed, which under other circumstances 
might never have been created or written. 




In the winter of 1864 a large band of Kickapoo Indians left 
their reservation on the Kaw Eiver in Kansas, and with all of 
their women, children, and worldly possessions started for Old 
Mexico. The reason of their exodus from Kansas was the fact 
that they had been called on to take sides in the great civil war 
which had been raging for some time between the Northern and 
Southern States. It seems that some of them had enlisted and 
done some service for the cause of the Union, for they were well 
armed and munitioned with government guns and knew how to 
use them, as the sequel will show, in their desperate battle with 
the Texans at Dove Creek. They crossed the Indian Territory 
all right, but when the border of Texas was reached their large 
force of several hundred warriors, besides their women and chil- 
dren, caused uneasiness among the scattered frontiersmen on 
the Texas side of Red River. Runners were sent far and near 
to notify the settlers of their approach, and men were collected 
to dispute their passage through Texas. The Kickapoos, not 
wishing a collision with the Texans, kept far out on the border 
after crossing the line, intending to skirt along the edge of the 
"Staked Plains," and thus make their way safely into Mexico. 
They crossed Red River about where Clay County now is, and 
pushed on through the "Panhandle/' crossing the Clear fork 
and main Brazos above all forts and settlements. Texas scouts, 
however, followed their trail, while men were collecting further 
east. The place where the different companies formed a junc- 
tion was at the head of Yellow Wolf Creek, under the following 
captains : From Bosque County, Capt. Sam Barnes ; Hamilton 
County, Capt. ; Comanche County, Capt. James Cun- 
ningham; Erath County, Capt. Gullentine ; Brown County, 
Capt. Matron; Palo Pinto County, Capt. Totton. Capt. Henry 
Fossett also commanded a company, and some say he was in 
command of the whole force of near 500 inen, part of whom 
were Confederate soldiers. Others say that Totton was in com- 
mand. James Mulkev and Brooks Lee were the main scouts. 


The trail of the Indians was taken up at Yellow Wolf by the 
main force, and as it was large and plain, was followed rapidly. 
The Indians were overtaken at the mouth of Dove Creek, near 
its confluence with the Concho Kiver, in the present limits of 
Tom Green County, Fort Concho at that time being not located 
or an abandoned post, on account of the civil war. The Texans 
halted about three miles from the Indian encampment and sent 
scouts to find out the situation. The scouts returned and re- 
ported the Indians well posted in the timber and thickets bor- 
dering Dove Creek and just above its mouth. They also said it 
would cost the lives of many men to rout them, and they believed 
also that they were friendly Indians. The officers in command, 
however, seemed determined to hazard a battle, come what might. 
The looked upon the Kickapoos as armed invaders and enemies,, 
even if they were from a Kansas reservation, but they likely did 
not know of this fact at the time, for some thought they were 
Sioux under old Ked Cloud. Be that as it may, on the 8th of 
January, 1865, the Avhites moved forward to the attack, some no 
doubt thinking the clay was a good omen, as it was the anniver- 
sary of General Jackson's great victory at New Orleans. The 
Indians were watching all the movements, and remained per- 
fectly quiet until the Texans began to enter their position, when 
the warwhoop was raised and a deadly fire opened upon them. A 
fierce charge was now made on the part of the whites, many of 
whom dismounted and tied their horses so as to better get at 
the Indians through the brush. After a short and sharp struggle 
the Indians gave way and retreated with great loss. The camp 
and all loose horses were captured. But at this moment the 
Texans made a sad and fatal mistake, the same that Captain 
Bryant made many years before, and which has gone down in 
history as "Bryant's defeat/' Those that were still mounted 
left their horses and all commenced to pillage the camp, thinking 
the Indians were utterly routed and scattered. The Kickapoos 
rallied, however, and -seeing the unorganized condition of their 
enemies, turned back and fiercely charged them, aiming their 
rifles with fatal precision. The white men were now at great 
disadvantage, — dismounted, badly scattered, and many with 
empty guns. The Indians came among them in great numbers 
and a panic ensued. Frightened and wounded horses were run- 
ning in everv direction, and many of the men were unable to 


mount. Ropes and bridle reins snapped on all sides, and the lib- 
erated horses galloped over friend and foe. In vain brave men 
tried to stay the tide and bring order out of ehaos and confusion, 
but in vain; all were carried along by the impact of the general 
stampede. Those who could mount their horses as a general 
thing put spurs to them and left the field. But many brave and. 
heroic deeds were performed — friends stayed with wounded 
friends and helped them to mount horses, or died with them in 
the bloody fight. The Kickapoos mounted all the horses they 
could lay hands upon and pursued the white men for some dis- 
tance, and many were killed and wounded. The loss of the 
white men can not be accurately ascertained. The following 
names of some of the slain have been obtained: Don Cox and 
Tom Parker of Comanche County; Capt. Sam Barnes of Brown 
County ; and from other counties, Albert Everett, Noah Gibbs, 
John Stein, James Mabry, Joseph Byars, William Epps, Capt. 
Gulkntine and his son. Among the wounded were, W. W. 
Pierce, Captain Maton, John Brown, and Emms Adams. After 
the pursuit was over the white men scattered back to their vari- 
ous homes and the Indians went on to Mexico. It is a pity that 
all the long-haired, painted scoundrels could not have been killed 
before they crossed the Eio Grande, for the writer knows that 
these same Kickapoos raided Texas from their secure retreat in 
the Santa Eosa mountains in Mexico, and caused untold suffer- 
ing along our border for many years. 




In 1865 occurred one of those sad frontier tragedies, where the 
settlers were unable to sustain themselves in an Indian battle, 
and wives and mothers were made to mourn for loved ones who 
never returned except as mangled or inanimate bodies. This 
noted fight occurred on the 4th day of July in the above named 
year, near the mouth of the Leona River, in Frio County. The 
settlers in the vicinity at that time were the Martins, Odens, 
Franks, Bennetts, Hays, Parks, Levi English, and Ed Burle- 
son. These were all in what was known as the Martin settle- 

On the morning in question Ed. Burleson went out a short 
distance from his ranch to drive up some horses. He was un- 
armed and riding a slow horse. Suddenly and very unexpect- 
edly to him he was attacked by two Indians who ran him very 
close, one on foot and the other mounted. The one on foot out- 
ran the horseman and came near catching Burleson, but he ran 
through a thicket, and coming out on the side next. his ranch 
arrived there safely. Quite a lot of people had collected at his 
house — men, women and children — to celebrate the Fourth and 
wind up with a dance at night. Ere the sun went down on that 
day, however, the festivities were changed to mourning. Instead 
of the gay tramp and joyous laughter of the dancers, wailing 
and the slow tread of a funeral procession were heard. Excite- 
ment ran high when Burleson dashed in and gave the alarm. 
Most of the men present mounted in hot haste to go in pursuit, 
and others were notified. 

When all the men had congregated who could be gotten to- 
gether on short notice they numbered eleven, and were as fol- 
lows : Levi English, L. A. Franks, G. W. Daugherty, Ed. Bur- 
leson, W. C. Bell, Frank Williams, Dean Oden, Bud English, 
Dan Williams, John Berry, and — Aikens. Levi English being 
the oldest man in the party, and experienced to some extent in 
fighting Indians, was chosen captain. 

When the main trail was struck the Indians were found to be 


in large force and going down the Leona Eiver. They crossed 
this stream near Bennett's ranch, four miles from Burleson's. 
They then went out into the open prairie in front of Martin's 
ranch, ten miles further on. The settlers first came in sight of 
them two miles off, hut they went down into a valley and were 
lost to sight for some time. Suddenly, however, they came in 
view again, not more than 200 yards away. They w^ere thirty- 
six in number and mounted two and two on a horse. The In- 
dians now discovered the white men for the first time, and at 
once commenced a retreat. The white men were all hrave fron- 
tiersmen, and made a reckless and impetuous charge and com- 
menced firing too soon. The Indians ran nearly a mile, and 
thinking likely they had well nigh drawn the fire of the settlers, 
checked their flight at a lone tree at a signal from their chief, 
and each Indian who was mounted behind another jumped to 
the ground and came back at a charge, and for the first time 
commenced shooting. The mounted ones circled to right and 
left and sent a show r er of arrows and bullets. Some of the In- 
dians went entirely around the white men, and a desperate battle 
at close quarters ensued. The red men had the advantage of the 
whites in point of numbers and shots. The latter having nearly 
exhausted their shots at long range, had no time to reload a cap 
and ball pistol or gun in such a fight as was now r being inaugu- 
rated. Captain English in vain gave orders during the mad 
charge, trying to hold the boys back and keep them out of the 
deadly circle in which they finally went. Dan Williams was the 
first man killed, and when he fell from his horse was at once 
surrounded b}^ the Indians. English now rallied the men to- 
gether and charged to the body of Williams, and after a hot fight 
drove them back, but in so doing fired their last loads. The In- 
dians were quick to see this, and came back at them again, and a 
retreat was ordered. Frank Williams, brother to Dan, now dis- 
mounted by the side of his dying brother and asked if there was 
anything he could do for him, and expressed a willingness to 
stay with him. "No/' said the stricken man, handing Frank 
his pistol; "take this and do the best you can. I am killed — 
can not live ten minutes. Save yourself." The men were even 
now wheeling their horses and leaving the ground, and Frank 
only mounted and left when the Indians were close upon him. 
The Comanches came after them, yelling furiously, and a panic- 


ensued. Dean Oclen was the next one to fall a victim. His 
horse was wounded and began to pitch, and the Indians were 
soon upon him. He dismounted and was wounded in the leg, and 
attempted to remount again, but was wounded six times more in 
the breast and back, as the Indians were on all sides of him. 
Aus. Franks was near him trying to force his way out, and the 
last he saw of Oden he was down to his knees and his horse gone. 
The next and last man killed was Bud English, son of the cap- 
tain. His father stayed by his body until all hope was gone and 
all the men scattering away. The Indians pursued with a fierce 
vengeance, mixing in with the whites, and many personal com- 
bats took place, the settlers striking at the Indians with their 
unloaded guns and pistols. In this wild night all the balance of 
the men were wounded except Franks, Berry, and Frank Wil- 
liams. Captain English was badly wounded in the side with an 
arrow; G. W. Daugherty was hit in the leg with an arrow; Ed. 
Burleson in the leg with an arrow; Aikens in the breast with an 
arrow, and W. C. Bell in the side with an arrow. 

In this wounded and scattered condition the men went back 
to the ranch and told the news of their sad defeat, and the long, 
piercing wail of women was again heard on this far-away fron- 
tier. Other men were collected and returned to the battleground 
to bring away the dead, led by those who participated but es- 
caped unhurt. The three bodies lay within 100 yards of each 
other and were badly mutilated. The Indians carried away their 
dead, how many was not known, but supposed to be but few, on 
account of the reckless firing of the men at the commencement of 
the fight. Bud English was killed by a bullet in the breast, and 
there was also one arrow or lance wound in the breast. The head 
of Dan Williams was nearly severed from the body, necessitating 
a close wrapping in a blanket to keep the members together while 
being carried back. Oden and Williams were brothers-in-law, 
and were both buried in the same box. Eight out of the eleven 
men were either killed or wounded. 

Aus. Franks, who gave the writer the particulars of this fight, 
now lives in Atascosa County. 

Dean Oden was born on Mill Creek, in Guadalupe County, 
and was known to the writer years ago, but he never knew what 
became of him until getting the particulars of this Indian battle. 




Ill 1897, in Frio Canyon the writer interviewed Mr. B. F. 
Payne, an ex-ranger, who had some interesting experience while 
serving on the frontier. Mr. Payne is a native Texas boy, and 
was raised near Austin, Travis County, being born there in the 
early 50's. 

In 1866 he, in company with his father and several others, 
among whom was William Rutledge, went out on a cow hunt. 
At this time the Indians still raided the western portion of the 
counties bordering Travis on the west and northwest, and cow- 
hunters going in that direction generally went armed, especially 
with revolvers. One day about noon, before the cow-hunt termi- 
nated, the party came upon a band of Indians who had stopped 
in the lied of a dry ravine and were eating dinner. The white 
men, who were on the high ground above the Indians, were not 
discovered by them, and they kept on with their repast, which 
consisted of meat of some animal, wild or domestic, slaughtered 
by them. The white men at once made preparations to attack 
them, and drew back under cover and held a council. They did 
not wish to let the Indians escape without a fight, but Mr. Payne 
was concerned about his young son Frank, for fear that he would 
get hurt. The boy was about 12 years of age, and was not carry- 
ing any arms. The elder Payne finally told his son to remain 
where he was and not to leave the spot until the fight was over 
and some of them came back to him. 

These arrangements being now agreed upon, the white men 
advanced and charged upon the Indians, who at once mounted 
their horses and fled. The whole party of whites and In- 
dians were soon lost to sight of Frank across a low range of hills. 
The cowmen, being on good horses, soon came within pistol 
range and the fight commenced, the Indians giving shot for shot 
and warwhooping as they went. Young Payne, from his position 
in the rear, heard all this commotion and became very anxious 
to witness the combat. Accordingly he put spurs to his pony and 
galloped to the top of the ridge where he could have a plain view. 


not intending to go any further. When he arrived at the crest 
of the elevation, however, he met a loose and terror-stricken horse 
coming out of the fight, and the boy's horse took fright at »him 
and ran away, and instead of going back the way he came, ran 
straight ahead and followed in the wake of the Indians. The 
white men were scattered and one of them unhorsed, and the boy 
soon passed all of them and ran into the Indians. Mr. Payne 
saw the peril his son was in, and when he passed called out, 
"Hold up, Frank ; hold up V That was what the boy was trying 
to do with all of his strength, but the pony had the bit in his 
mouth and was beyond control. The Indians evidently thought 
this a daring and intentional charge on the part of the young 
white brave, and, yelling loudly, prepared to fight him. The 
boy passed some of the Indians, who shot at him and threw lances 
from all sides. Finally a bullet, arrow or lance cut his bridle 
rein in two. His horse then increased his speed and soon got 
clear of all the Indians. Frank now took the rope from the horn 
of his saddle, and making a loop leaned forward and secured it 
over the nose of his horse, finally stopping him. 

In the meantime the elder Payne had followed his son as fast 
as he could in order to try and save him, and fought his way 
through the Indians, assisted by some of his companions. He 
succeeded in killing some of the Indians and scattering the bal- 
ance. Young Frank made a circle and came back. Besides 
having his bridle reins severed, two arrows were sticking in his 
saddle. Only one of the cow-hunters was wounded. He was 
able to ride, and when his horse was brought back he mounted, 
and the party arrived at home without further incident. 

In ]870 Frank Payne, although still young, joined a company 
of rangers commanded by Capt. Eufus Perry. The captain was 
an old Jack Hays ranger, and was the same who had such a 
fearful experience in Nueces Canyon when he and Kit Ack- 
land were so severely wounded. Captain Perry's company was 
stationed at a place called Little Eed River, near Camp San Saba 
Springs. While there the rangers received information that a 
large body of Indians were raiding below and had carried off a 
drove of horses near Dripping Springs, in Hays County. The 
rangers lost no time, and were soon at the scene of the raid and 
on the trail of the redskins. The trail was discovered near 
Shovel Mountain, and was so plain and fresh the rangers knew 


the Indians could not be far ahead, and dashed on as rapidly as 
the nature of the ground would admit, all eager for the battle. 
When nearing the base of the mountain a white man was discov- 
ered running at full speed and being pursued by Indians. The 
latter stopped on seeing the rangers and turned back, and the 
hard pressed settler made his escape to the ranger boys. The 
Indians had 100 head of horses, and were going slow on account 
of the rough country. The rangers now made a flank movement 
to the right, kept under cover of the brush until near the horses, 
and then making a sudden dash cut them off from the Indians 
in a narrow place. They ran them back south against the foot 
of Shovel Mountain, and left three men to hold them there until 
the battle was over. The rangers knew they would have to fight 
the Indians, as they were in large force and yelling loudly. It 
seems that during the excitement of running the settler the In- 
dians and horses had become scattered, and the rangers, taking 
cover and coming out in an unexpected place, by a bold, quick 
dash had secured the horses. The Indians collected in plain 
view of the rangers and began to divest themselves of blankets 
and outrigging, and to pile them up on the ground. The ran- 
gers now advanced and dismounted in a post oak ravine, tied 
their horses, and filled the magazines of their Winchesters full 
of cartridges, and awaited the charge which they saw the Co- 
manches were about to make. The Indians numbered 125, as 
near as could be ascertained, and the rangers 28, besides the 
three who were holding the herd of horses against the moun- 
tain. The Indians when they did charge made a turn and tried 
to recapture the horses, but the rangers charged in turn and 
opened such a rapid fire that the savage warriors retreated back 
to their position. The three plucky fellows who were with the 
horses remained at their post and also opended fire. The In- 
dians could not get to the horses without passing within gunshot 
of the position occupied by the main body of the rangers. The 
next charge of the Indians came close to the rangers, and a short 
but desperate fight took place. The Comanches, however, soon 
gave back before the galling fire of the Winchesters. They 
fought with muzzle-loading guns, bows and lances. Captain 
Perry was a good Indian fighter and handled his men well. The 
Indians killed in this charge were carried off by daring fellows 



on horseback, who would lean from the saddle, and taking them 
by their long hair drag them back to cover. In the third charge 
the Indian chief was killed and his horse ran in among the ran- 
gers with the dead body, which was held to the saddle by a strong 
strap of leather. If the horse had gone back the other way the 
body of the chief would not have been captured. The Indians 
evidently overrated the force of rangers on account of the num- 
ber of shots fired. The Comanches finally left after suffering 
heavy loss. The dress and rigging of the dead chief were taken 
to Austin and placed in the capitol building. Of the men in the 
fight the writer can only get the names of Captain Perry, B. F. 
Payne, Frank Enoch, the three Bird brothers, Griffin from Aus- 
tin, Page from Blanco, and a man named Cox. 

The three Bird brothers displayed great bravery and exposed 
themselves in every charge to the enemy's fire. One of them was 
killed and the other two wounded, one in the nose and the other 
in the ear, with arrows. Other rangers and horses were wounded. 
The dead ranger was carried to Birdtown and buried. The 
stolen horses numbered 100 head, and were carried back and 
turned over to the owners. The rangers in this fight were all 
young men, none being over 25 years of age. 



Desperate Indian Battle, 1870. 

Among the many interesting incidents connected with the 
early settlement of Old D'Hanis, the following facts were col- 
lected from Mr. Chris Batot, one of the original first settlers : 

In 1861 a band of Indians came in near D'Hanis and stole a 
lot of horses. Before the people knew they were in the country an 
old man named John Schreiber went out one morning on a mule 
to hunt a yoke of oxen. Some time in the day the mule came 
back without his rider and an arrow sticking in him. Great 
excitement prevailed in the settlement, as all were satisfied that 
the old man was killed. A large crowd assembled at D'Hanis to 
organize a search for the body and to fight the Indians if they 
should come in contact with them. These people were very par- 
ticular to comply with and adhere strictly to the formalities of 
the law, and therefore made arrangements to hold an inquest 
over the body when found. They had no justice of the peace to 
act in the capacity of coroner, but Mr. Schalkhausen, their 
school teacher, was an educated man, and they supposed he could 
hold an inquest as good as anyone. He agreed to go with them, 
and soon all things were ready. A wagon and team had been 
procured, and in this the teacher rode with the driver. The bal- 
ance of the party went ahead on horseback to search for the body. 
When they arrived about the place where they supposed the old 
man had been killed the mounted men separated to hunt, and it 
was understood that the one who should first find the body of the 
unfortunate settler would make it known by a loud call to the 
others. A man named Deckard first came upon the body, and 
gave the signal. The searchers soon collected together on the 
spot, and Mr. Chris. Batot was sent to inform Mr. Sauter, son- 
in-law of the man killed, who was in company with the teacher 
coming with the wagon. When Mr. Batot met the wagon and 
told the news of the finding of the body to Mr. Sauter, and how 
he should drive to reach the spot, he rode back to the assembled 
crowd. The wagon had passed the spot where the body lay, and 


had to turn back and go up a ravine to get there. This was back 
towards D'Hanis, and Mr. Batot said as he rode off, "You can 
see us when you get up the ravine opposite the body. 77 Mr. Batot 
says the driver had only to put on the bridles of the horses, as 
they had not been unhitched while Mr. Sauter was waiting for 
the dead man to be found and informed where to drive to. Now 
a strange and most unaccountable thing occurred. While Mr. 
Sauter was adjusting the bridles to the horses the teacher got 
out of the wagon and followed Mr. Batot on foot, while the 
driver carried the wagon up the ravine as instructed. When the 
wagon arrived the men were around the body ready to hold the 
inquest, but the teacher had not as yet arrived. After a short 
time waiting, two men went to see what was delaying the pro- 
fessor. They were gone about twenty minutes, and then came 
back and. reported that they could not find him. Fifteen men 
now set out on horseback and scattered in various directions to 
search for the man of letters, shouting and shooting for six hours, 
but no response came from the missing man. He had disappeared 
as completely as if the earth had opened and swallowed him up. 
By this time a cold norther had come upon them, and as the men 
were without coats the search had to be abandoned. The dead 
man was placed in the wagon and carried back to D'Hanis and 
buried without the inquest being held. The body was lanced 
and scalped, but had not been shot with either bullet or arrow. 
The wounded mule must have dodged into a thicket and eluded 
the Indians. The old man evidently fell from him or was 
dragged off by a limb. The mule came in with saddle and 
bridle on. 

After returning home the men got their coats and some pro- 
visions and returned to the scene of the killing, and there 
searched in wide circles for three days without success. The 
missing man was never seen or heard of again by them. It was , 
surmised that the Indians who killed Mr. Schreiber were con- 
cealed near by watching the searching party, whom they were 
afraid to fight, and seeing this man alone and on foot and not 
armed, he was captured and carried off. It is all shrouded in 
mystery, however, as it does seem that so manjr men scattering 
in various directions would some of them have come upon the 
Indians, even in their ambush. The teacher was a man of 60 


years of age, well educated, had a good school, and would have 
had no occasion to voluntarily absent himself without letting 
some one know it. 

Six months after this startling frontier episode, Mr. Deckard, 
the man who found the body of Mr. Schreiber, was himself killed 
by Indians under like circumstances. He was not found until 
the body was reduced to a skeleton by wolves and vultures, and 
the bones were put in a sack and carried to D'Hanis and buried. 
The remains could only be identified by the shoes and some camp 

Mr. Batot says that in the year 1870 the Indians invaded the 
west as if they were going to take the whole country. There 
were Indians everywhere. At this time Mr. Batot belonged to 
the ranging company commanded by Capt. Joseph Eicharz, and 
they were stationed at Fort Inge, four miles below Uvalde, on the 
Leona Eiver. At this time news came to the rangers that a large 
body of Indians were stealing horses on Turkey Creek, twenty 
miles west of Uvalde, beyond the Nueces Eiver. There were but 
sixteen men in camp, two scouts already being gone, one under 
Captain Eicharz and the other under his lieutenant, Sevier 
Vance. The only officers in camp were Dr. Woodbridge, com- 
pany physician and surgeon, and Sergeant Eckford. The doctor 
took command and at once set out to hunt for the Indians, leav- 
ing only one man in camp. Court was going on in Uvalde at the 
time, and Mr. Batot, being a witness in a case there pending, 
and could not go with the scout, and therefore missed being in 
the desperate battle near Carrizo Springs which followed. The 
rangers took up the trail of the Indians on Turkey Creek and 
followed its tortuous and scattered windings through the chap 1 - 
arral and thorny catclaw brush for two days, and then made the 
discovery that they had lost a man. It was useless to hunt for 
him in this brushy and uninhabited country, so the scout pushed 
on to Carrizo Springs. There was one lone ranchman near this 
place named English, and. he said the scout was a long ways be- 
hind the Indians, as they had passed there two days before. This 
man said that if the doctor and rangers would take his advice 
he might tell them of a plan by which they could get a chance to 
fight them. This was agreed to, and English took the men 
eight miles west, entirely leaving the Indian trail, which was 
going south. Here about dark English told the men to stop and 


camp. The idea of English was that the Indians would again 
turn north when their raid was over and pass near this place. 

Next morning English took two of the rangers and went out 
to see if there was any sign of the Indians having passed in the 
night. This left Dr. Woodbridge with twelve men. One hour 
later he sent two men out on a hill as spies, and in a valley to the 
south they discovered a large band of Indians coming towards 
them and driving a herd of horses which they had stolen. The 
two spies at once put back to camp and informed the doctor of 
the situation, and he gave orders to saddle and mount. The 
rangers soon came in sight of the Indians going over a ridge, and 
a charge was ordered. The rangers at this time were armed with 
Winchesters, and thinking they could sustain themselves, boldly 
advanced with twelve men against the Indians' sixty. The 
Comanches had discovered the approach of the rangers, and as 
soon as they got over the ridge they turned and formed for a 
fight in two lines and came back at a charge and met the white 
men on the crest of the ridge. The looks of the Indians and 
their fearful warwhoops were appalling, and two of the rangers 
ran. Ten stood their ground, however, and met the onset. The 
fight was fierce and at close quarters. A gallant ranger named 
Bedinger, who was in the thickest of the fight, was seen to reel 
and fall from his horse, and Dr. Woodbridge was struck and 
knocked from his horse by the Indian chief. The fight seemed 
hopeless against such odds and the rangers retreated, firing as 
they went. Dr. Woodbridge at this juncture was seen standing 
behind a prickly pear shooting at the chief, who was securing the 
doctor's horse. Two of the rangers, Blakeny and Whitney, went 
back to the assistance of the doctor and charged the Indians. 
The other rangers also made a stand and continued to fire. The 
two rangers above mentioned were in a perfect Vesuvius of fire. 
No two men, it is thought, ever fired so many shots in so short 
a space of time. Blakeny's gun became so hot that he could not 
touch the barrel without getting burned, and all the time dur- 
ing this conflict he and Whitney returned yell for yell with the 

The Comanches had never met such a fire before, and did some 
most dexterous riding and dodging, but nine were seen to fall 
from their horses to the ground. Whitney's horse was wounded, 
but still he advanced to the side of the doctor, who was dazed 


from the blow he had received, and was slowly retreating and fir- 
ing. He succeeded in mounting behind the ranger, who bore 
him safely back to the other men, the retreat being covered by 
Blakeny, who still continued to yell and fire. The other rangers 
had formed near and still continued a brisk fire, and the Indians 
went back, not daring to risk another charge in the face of such 
a fire. The Winchesters were all that saved the rangers; they 
would have been crushed if muzzle-loaders had been their arms. 
The Indians scalped the dead ranger while the fight was going 
on, as he fell in the hand-to-hand fight, and his body remained 
in their possession when the rangers fell back. The men had 
nearly exhausted their supply of cartridges, especially Whitney 
and Blakeney. The former was short eighty after the fight. 
The rangers went back to their camp, and next morning a party 
went back to the scene of the battle and buried the dead ranger. 
He was hit three times in the breast by bullets. The Indians 
got his horse and saddle, Winchester, pistol, and belt of cart- 
ridges. They also got the doctor's horse, saddle, and bridle, 
but the chief's horse was found dead on the ground. The In- 
dians had carried off their dead, but the bloody ground where 
they fought told the tale of what they suffered. 

These same Indians after the right continued their course, and 
came upon English and the two men who went to look for the 
trail, and a long running fight took place with them, but the 
rangers, being on good horses, made their escape to camp. Joe 
Brierly was behind in the chase and fired repeatedly at the In- 
dians, who also fired many times at him, but appeared afraid to 
come closer. 

The chief's horse which was killed in the fight was a gray, and 
well known to the rangers as belonging to a ranchman below. 
One shield was picked up on the ground with a bullet mark on 
it and a woman's scalp attached. The shield and scalp were 
sent to Austin. The ranger Who got lost while trailing found 
his way back safely to the camp below Uvalde. 

The ranchman English, who was with the rangers on this 
occasion, afterwards commanded the settlers in a disastrous 
battle with Indians near old Frio town, in which his son and two 
other men, Oden and Williams, were killed, besides a number 




The morning of May 1, 1897, was a grand day for the people 
of D'Hanis and surrounding country. The sun rose clear, ush- 
ering in the fiftieth anniversary of the settling of Old D'Hanis, 
one mile east of the new town of the same name on the Sunset 
Eailroad. Here at the former place the pioneers of fifty years 
ago unloaded their wagons on the prairie by the side of a clear- 
running little creek. In the early morning of this present occa- 
sion of the celebration a cool wind blew from the north, and 
everything was propitious for a nice day. At an early hour busy 
preparations were being made for the day's festivities. 

In company with John Gersdorff of San Antonio the writer at 
an early hour repaired to the barbecue grounds, which were in 
the rear of the two-story rock store house of Mr. John Fohn. 
The entrance was through a wide gate which fronted on the 
main road to Hondo City. Already many people had arrived, 
but still the horsemen, footmen, and vehicles continued to pass 
through the entrance from the country, Hondo City, and other 
points until a vast multitude had assembled within the grounds. 
During the gathering of the people, Dr. Bradley of Hondo City 
brought the news of the death of Dr. Cummings of Uvalde, who 
was well known here, and many regrets and much sorrow was 
expressed at his sudden demise. Last year he was elected 
county judge of Uvalde County, and was very popular among 
the people. 

The barbecue grounds was about 300 yards from the spot 
where fifty years ago the travel-worn pioneers unloaded their 
wagons and said, "Here we rest." The country was more pleas- 
ant to look upon then, as far as scenery is concerned, on account 
of the thick undergrowth which has since sprung up all over the 
country. Then towards the west were no settlers. The country 
was rolling prairie, covered with grass. Along the Seco Creek 
were small hills and some timber. Towards the north, ten miles 
of open country and the blue mountain ranges of Seco, Sabinal, 


and Hondo could be seen. In other things, however, the con- 
trast is just as great. The settlers then had poor teams and 
clumsy wagons, with no houses and no material at hand to build 
with, except short pickets and prairie grass for roof. Now we 
see fine teams and costly carriages, nice houses, and good farms. 

On this day the old settlers group together and talk over old 
times, while the young ladies and gentlemen are in high glee 
over the anticipated pleasures of the day. There was nothing 
stronger than beer to drink, and that popular beverage was par- 
taken of freely but not to excess by anyone. Lighter drinks, 
such as lemonade and soda water, were on hand to be dispensed 
to those who preferred that kind of refreshment. 

When the hour for the parade arrived, the marshals formed 
the people in line and the start was made from the gate in front 
of the Fohn building. The line of inarch was south. First 
came Mr. Chris. Batot, one of the first settlers, bearing a Texas 
flag of the days of the .Republic, with the legend inscribed on the 
blue ground : "D'Hanis' Fiftieth Anniversary." Next came a 
wagon containing a string band, which discoursed sweet music 
as they went marching along. Next in order were forty little 
girls bearing flags; then old setttlers, citizens, and visitors of 
all ages and sizes. In the procession also was an old settler 
named John Rudinger, bearing a United States flag. The pro- 
cession was quite extended, the objective point being the old 
town, where the grass-covered shanties were first erected, some 
of which were still to be seen. Along the route they passed the 
residence of Mrs. Fohn, one of the first settlers, who at this 
time was dangerously ill in San Antonio. The procession re- 
turned by a circuitous route, and again entered the grounds. 
The Texas flag was furled and laid away, and the stars and 
stripes planted at the gate, where it flapped in the breeze the bal- 
ance of the day. Trains coming from both ways continued to 
bring visitors from points along the railroad. Among the people 
present on the ground was a son of Capt. Charles de Montel, who 
commanded a company of Texas rangers in the early days and 
did good service with his men along the border. The younger 
Montel is a lawyer by profession, and resides at Hondo City, 
county seat of Medina County. 

Dinner was announced at noon, and all repaired to the long 
tables near the meat pits, and ample justice was done to the 


fat beef, bread, coffee, and pickles. This feast was quite in con- 
trast with fifty years ago. The old settlers were not possessed 
of guns sufficient to kill large game, and often suffered with 
hunger, subsisting many days at times on meal and water made 
into mush. It will be remembered that these early settlers came 
direct from Europe, and had never lived in a new country. 
Their firearms mostly were small bird guns, and not all had 
them. Sometimes the Indians, who at this time professed to be 
friends, would come and take what meal they had. 

The number of people present today was estimated to be be- 
tween 1200 and 1500, and 200 vehicles. At 3 o'clock speaking 
commenced, Judge S. B. Easly first occupying the stand, which 
was on the balcony at the head of the stairs on the outside of 
the Fohn building. Judge Easly, in his remarks, paid a glow- 
ing tribute to the people of D'Hanis as brave pioneers, honest, 
law-abiding citizens, and said that no D'Hanis boy had ever 
been sent to the penitentiary. Mr. Easly Avas loudly cheered 
on leaving the stand. 

Mr. Chris. Batot, one of the first settlers, now came before the 
people and rehearsed the history of the colony from the start in 
Europe up to the time when the country had passed out of the 
wilderness state into an epoch of more prosperous times. The 
people listened with great interest and with many cheers, inter- 
spersed with peals of laughter at some of his humorous sallies. 
It seemed almost to make the contrast more perfect, while Mr. 
Batot was telling of the slow, toilsome march with weary teams 
across the prairie following the trail of the surveyor's wagon 
through the high grass, that a fast train dashed by not more 
than 300 yards from where the speaker stood, and the scream 
of the locomotive would have drowned the yell of the Comanche 
of whom he had just been telling. This closed the speaking, 
and was followed by music from the string band, baseball in the . 
evening, supper at sundown, and dancing in Fohn's hall at 
night. During the dance Miss Ida Durban of Utopia met with 
a painful accident by a splinter penetrating her shoe and going 
deeply into her foot. The young lady was at once conveyed to 
the depot, where the services of Dr. Patterson, also of Utopia, 
were secured and attempt made to remove the splinter, but with- 
out success, as the doctor was in attendance at the celebration 
and had no instruments with him. Dr. Bradley of Hondo was. 

D 'HAN IS' EI FT IE TH ANN 1 1 'ERSA R ) '. 283 

now sent for and the splinter removed. It was large, being two 
inches in length. Miss Durban suffered great agony for more 
than two hours. 

Below are the names of the first settlers who are still alive, 
and who were of all ages at the time the colony came here. Some 
were very young: Joseph Finger, Joseph Wipf, Chris Batot, 
John Keiderman, John Deckert, L. Essen (92 years old), John 
Batot, John Eudinger, Mrs. F. A. Lutz, Mrs. L. Zurcher, Mrs. 
Jos. Wolf, Mrs. H. Weynand, and H. Weynand. There were 
tw r enty-nine families originally, and numbered about 100 per- 
sons. But few of those who were grown at the time of arrival 
are now alive. 

D'Hanis is in the western part of Medina County, on the east 
bank of Seco Creek. 



Came to Texas in 1829. 

Mr. Eichard Ware was born in Arkansas on the 20th of Oc- 
tober, 1828, while the family were en route to Texas. His 
father, Capt. William Ware, settled in Montgomery County, 
Texas, in 1829. In 1835, when the war between Texas and 
Mexico broke out, his father raised a company and went to San 
Antonio with Gen. Ed. Burleson. When Col. Ben Milam called 
for volunteers to storm the city, Captain Ware and his men went 
in and materially aided in capturing General Cos and his army. 
During the fighting around the Veramendi house, on Soledad 
Street, Captain Ware was severely wounded in the hand. After 
the fall of the Alamo and the setttlers commenced their retreat 
from the Mexicans the Ware family went to Natchitoches, on 
Red River, ready to cross if the Mexicans were successful. Cap- 
tain Ware and his company was with Houston's army and 
fought at the battle of San Jacinto, which gave peace for a time 
to Texas, which was now organized into an independent Re- 

In 1842, after San Antonio was captured by General Wall, 
Captain Ware joined the Somervell expedition for the invasion 
of Mexico, but turned back on the Rio Grande with a great 
many others. , 

In 1851 the Wares started west with a drove of cattle. Winter 
came on when they were in the vicinity of San Marcos, Hays 
County, and they concluded to stop and hold their stock until 
spring opened. Some one informed them that if they would go 
south to the Yorks Creek country, in the Sowell and Turner 
settlement, they would find some vacant houses which they could 
occupy and it would be a fine place to spend the winter. This 
they did. Grass was fine and the stock did well, but many of 
them were lost on account of their mixing with wild cattle in the 
big thickets. These wild cattle were not domestic gone astray, 
but original wild cattle, smaller than the common breeds or 
home cattle, and all one color — brown. The writer remembers 


when a boy and living in Hays County, on the Blanco, of seeing 
a great many of them. They were wilder than the deer. 

In the spring of 1852 Captain Ware moved his cattle on west 
and settled in Sabinal Canyon. The old cabin is still standing, 
built by himself and his boys, and should be preserved. The 
elder Ware did not long enjoy the new home, dying the follow- 
ing year. 

In 1856 Richard Ware had his first experience with Indians. 
On that occasion the Indians made a raid into Sabinal Canyon 
and were fought by Johri Leaky, Grid Thompson, and others, the 
particulars of which have been described elsewhere. Mr. Ware 
joined the force that pursued these same Indians, who were over- 
taken on the Leona Eiver while in bathing and all killed but one. 
They had no chance to make a fight, as the settlers were on the 
bank right over them before they knew it, and they had to dive 
in trying to avoid the shots. Mr. Ware says when it was over the 
water was very bloody. This affair has also been described more 
fully in another article. 

In 1859 Mr. Ware was living in Frio Canyon when a raiding 
band of Comanches came through, having a lot of stolen horses 
which they had taken in the Guadalupe valley. A party of 
twelve was made up and pursued them. Of this number were 
John Daugherty, captain; Wm. Russell, Geo. Patterson, John 
Williams, Dan Turner, Henry Courtney, Richard Ware, and — 
Lambert. The trail of the Indians led west to the Nueces Can- 
yon, and the first night the settlers camped without water.. 
They were on the trail again early next morning, and when they 
came to the Nueces found themselves on -a high bluff. It was 
level on the opposite side of the river and open country for some 
distance, and the Indians were discovered going across the valley 
towards the foot of the mountains. The only chance to continue 
the pursuit was to go on foot. It was decided to do this, and 
Lambert and Courtney were left with the horses. The other 
men had some difficulty in getting down the bluff themselves, 
but finally succeeded and crossed the river without being dis- 
covered by the Indians. They went on about two miles and dis- 
covered a smoke coming out of a cedar brake, and knew the In- 
dians had camped. Their plan now was to creep upon them 
and make an attack. They advanced to a water hole not far 
from the Indians and discovered some one coming towards them 


after water. All lay close in the brush, and as the Indian, as 
they supposed, came in range two rifles cracked and he fell in his 
tracks. A rush was now made for the camp, but the alarm had 
been given and the Indians were scattering through the brake 
without attempting to make any fight, and none of them were 
killed. Eight head of horses were taken, and the men went back 
to the waterhole and examined the dead body there. They now 
discovered what a sad mistake had been made. It was a captive 
white boy they had slain. Who he was or where he was captured 
they could not tell. Evidently he had been with the Indians 
some time. He was badly sunburned and his hair very long. 
Around his waist was a belt and knife, and he had two bullet 
wounds in the breast. By his side lay a water vessel made from 
the paunch of a cow or horse, and the Indians had sent him to 
the pool for water. Even if he had been an Indian the settlers 
made a mistake in killing him at this time, as the fire of the 
rifles alarmed those in camp and spoiled their plans. Being 
nearly night and some distance from their horses, and nothing 
to dig a grave with, the poor unfortunate, whoever he was, had 
no burial, and was left where he fell by the white men, food for 
vultures and coyotes. He seemed to be about 14 years of age. 
With some difficulty a place was found by going below and the 
recaptured stock brought out of the valley to where the two men 
and horses were. The return back was made without incident, 
and the stolen horses returned to their owners on the Guadalupe. 
In 1858 a stockman named I. C. Isbel, who lived on the Frio 
at the foot of the mountains, had eighty head of horses stolen by 
a band of Indians. The alarm was given and twenty-one men 
assembled at the Isbel ranch to go in pusuit of them. In the 
party were six United States soldiers from Fort Inge, under the 
command of a sergeant. The settlers were commanded by Capt. 
Henry Eobinson. The trail of the Indians led in a northerly 
direction toward the divide at the head of the Sabinal and Frio 
rivers. The country there was open postoak and blackjack. The 
Indians ket a spy back to watch for pursuers, and Captain Eob- 
inson, knowing they were in the habit of doing this, made a 
wide circle to the left so as not to be seen, and came upon the 
Indians between two noted watering places called the Postoak 
and Frio waterholes. The white men outnumbered the Indians, 
but in their first onset made a mistake by all firing their guns at 


once. The Indians took notice of this, and turning, holdly 
charged the settlers. The writer has heard men say that In- 
dians in the early days had a poor chance in fighting men who 
were armed with rifles and they only using bows. This is a mis- 
take, and until repeating arms were invented the Indian had the 
advantage. A brave when on the warpath carried from forty to 
sixty arrows in his quiver, and if he could by dodging and the 
use of his shield avoid the shot which the white man fired at him 
from a muzzle-loading gun, would then boldly charge him. If 
the settler did not happen to have a brace of pistols, he was 
bound to run or be stuck full of arrows unless he could take 
shelter somewhere until he could reload. This was the situation 
in this case. The settlers ran and took shelter among the trees 
until they could reload their rifles. A crisis was avoided by 
John Leaky and some others who had revolvers and met the 
charge with a rapid fire. Two Indians were killed on the spot 
at this place, and John Cook was wounded with an arrow. He 
was on horseback when hit, and the arrow went through his 
thigh and pinned him to the saddle. Two of the Indians' horses 
were also killed. One Indian was shot through both hips and 
fell in a sitting position on the ground, but pulled an arrow and 
was about to shoot when a soldier fired at him with an army 
gun carrying a buck-and-ball paper cartridge. The shot struck 
the Indian high up on the forehead, tearing off the top of his 
skull and exposing the entire brain. During the battle the loose 
horses were badly scattered, and some of the men who dis- 
mounted to fight let their horses get away from them. One In- 
dian displayed great bravery and a tenacity of life that was re- 
markable. He came close to the white men and was twice shot 
down, but regained his feet each time and continued to battle 
until the other Indians ran off and left him. He was shot six 
times by John Leakey with a revolver, and as he went off on foot 
to follow his comrades was fired at by every man who had a 
loaded gun. He was very active, and could dodge many shots 
aimed at him. Henry Courtney followed him on horseback and 
fired a load of buckshot at him from a shotgun, but the Indian 
kept on. John Daugherty now mounted a horse, and with a 
loaded revolver in his hand once more caught up with the brave 
to give him battle. The badly wounded Indian was still game, 
and turned back on Daugherty, uttering a warwhoop and send- 


ing his arrows with such precision that the settler dismounted 
behind his horse to avoid them. An exciting and strange battle 
now took place. The Indian advanced until nothing but the 
horse separated him from his foe, and both used the animal for 
a breastwork. Daugherty tried in vain to bring the Comanche 
down with repeated shots from the pistol until the chambers 
were empty. He had thus far avoided being hit himself, but 
was now at such a disadvantage without a load left, and the In- 
dian with arrows yet in his quiver, that he turned and ran to 
some trees for better shelter, and the redskin mounted the horse 
and rode off. This Indian had on during the most part of the 
fight a large piece of cloth, like sail duck, closely wrapped around 
his body, which he now threw off, and it was picked up by the 
white men. It was covered with blood and had many bullet holes 
through it. He also lost his shield, which was spattered with 

Richard Ware was in this fight,, and came near killing one of 
his comrades while they were at close quarters and men hurry- 
ing here and there and passing in front of one another. He 
aimed at an Indian, and when about to pull the trigger saw a 
white man's head through the sights of his gun, but lowered it 
in time to save him. The man had stepped directly in front of 
him. The Indian who got off with the horse and saddle also 
got a good overcoat and a canteen full of water. Several Indians 
were killed on the ground and most of the balance went off 
wounded. The horses stampeded badly during the fight, but 
were collected and driven back to the settlement. 

In 1866 Mr. Ware was again living in Sabinal Canyon, but in 
the meantime had married Miss Slaver, stepdaughter of Mr. 
Gideon Thompson. Mrs. Thompson and she were the first white 
women that saw Sabinal Canyon. Captain Ware's family were 
the first here, but his girls were small, and Mrs. Ware died in 
eastern Texas. Mrs. Richard Ware saw Mrs. Bowlin after she- 
was killed by the Indians, and helped to wait upon Mrs. Kinch- 
aloe, who was wounded at the time. 

In the above named year Mr. Ware was living on Onion Creek, 
in the canyon, and was engaged in opening a ditch to irrigate a. 
small piece of land situated some distance below the house. 
While here alone he was attacked by six Indians. He heard the- 
Indians coming through the brush, but thought it was cattle,. 


as they watered near here. When he looked around the Indians 
were in ten feet of him, and one was aiming his gun to shoot. 
Mr. Ware had no gun with him, but had his pistol, and being 
quick to draw and fire, got in his shot with the Indian, who 
missed Ware, but was himself badly wounded. He then started 
for the house, shooting as he went, followed by the Indians, who 
yelled a good deal but did not crowd him close. There were sev- 
eral men living near Mr. Ware, and some at his house at the time, 
and all heard the yelling and shooting, but no one got to him ex- 
cept his brave wife and John Ware. The wife met him with his 
gun, knowing he had only a pistol. The Indians got five head of 
horses and took their departure. At this time there was a boy 
named Buckaloo captive among the Indians, who was taken from 
this country, and knew the horses when they were brought in. 
They said they lost one man in the fight when they got the horses. 
This was the, first one Ware shot. Mrs. Ware saw the Indians 
when she came to her husband with the gun, and said the hair 
on their heads, which was very long, "flopped up and down when 
they galloped their horses." 

In this same year Mr. Ware and Charles Durbin went to Ban- 
dera after meal. The distance was forty miles, and it was the 
nearest mill from this canyon. On the way back, and when 
nearly home, in the lower part of Seco Canyon they saw a drove 
of horses coming up the valley towards them, driven by a band 
of Indians. Just ahead of them, about where the old Bandera 
road crosses Seco, a man named Myrick had built a house, but 
it was now vacant. To get to this house for shelter was the best 
thing to do, and the horses were whipped into a run to reach it. 
The Indians saw them and came yelling to cut them off. The 
white men beat the race and got inside. Mr. Ware could not 
find a crack inside the house that he could see through, and after 
waiting awhile ventured outside to take a view of the situation. 
Now the Indians were sharp and thought that one of the white 
men would do this very thing, so posted one of their men behind 
a tree near by with a gun to shoot anyone that ventured out, 
while the others drew back and kept silent. After Ware got out- 
side he looked cautiously around the corner of the house trying 
to see what had become of the Indians, and was startled by the 
loud report of a gun very near and a ball passed just over his 



head. Smoke from a liveoak told where the shot came from. 
The Indian was lying behind it waiting for this opportunity. 
Ware came to the corner of the house handling his gun as if 
about to shoot, and the Indian shot too quick, thinking likely 
he was discovered. The tree stood on the brink of a ravine, and 
just the glimpse of the Indian's black head was seen as he went 
over into it after shooting. Mr. Durban, who could not see very 
well and remained in the house, was under the impression when 
he heard the loud report of the gun that it was Ware who shot 
at an Indian, and exclaimed, "Did you hit him, Richard?'' 

The Indians kept them here all night but did not venture near 
enough to get the horses, which were tied near the door ; but they 
got the sheet from the wagon, which was left further away. 
The besieged men left next day, without seeing any more of the 

On one occasion Mr. Ware and some others were in Nueces 
Canyon looking for some white men who had killed another and 
were hiding out. At this time there were scarcely any settlers 
in this far western valley. A few daring men had brought their 
families there and were living in camps preparatory to form- 
ing a settlement. Among these were the Cox family, on West- 
prong. Ware and his party went to the Cox camp, and found 
everything torn up and the people gone. To the practiced eye 
of these frontiersmen it was soon apparent there had been a 
battle here. Among other things they found a newly made 
grave, and digging, into it with their knives found the body of a 
little girl, one of the Cox children, who had been killed in the 
fight. In a waterhole near by they found the dead body of an 
Indian. Blood and many other signs of the fight were there. 

Mr. Ware has had many reverses in life, but he and his wife 
at this writing (January, 1900) still live in Sabinal Canyon. 

Mrs. Ware was born in Shawneetown, 111., in 1839. Her 
father's name was David Slaver, and he died when she was quite 
young. Her mother then married Mr. Gideon Thompson, with 
whom she came to Sabinal Canyon in 1852. 

.-/ C r NT MA R )' DAI EN FOR T. 201 


Came to Texas in 1830. 

Among the many pioneer women of Texas but few have passed 
through a more varied experience than "Aunt Mary" Davenport, 
as she is generally called by all that know her. The writer found 
the good lady at the house of Mr. Monroe Fenley, her son-in- 
law, who lives two miles east of Sabinal Station. Mrs. Mary J. 
Davenport was the daughter of Capt. John Crane, and was born 
in Hardeman County, Mo., in 1823. Her father was a com- 
panion and playmate of Sam Houston, and both enlisted in 
General Jackson's army in Tennessee when the war broke out 
with the Creek Indians. The two took part in the famous In- 
dian battle of the Horshoe Bend. Houston was a lieutenant, 
and was severely wounded. After the battle was over Mr. Crane 
and another young man came upon the body of a dead squaw 
with a live babe beside her, and they were at a loss to know what 
to do with it. At this time another soldier came up, named 
N"ick Baker, and they asked him what would be best to do with 
the Indian baby. "Kill it," said he. This they declared they 
would not do. "I will, then," said Baker, and thereupon he 
snatched up the swarthy infant and dashed its brains out against 
a tree. This man had suffered many things at the hands of the 
Indians. He had seen them do his little brothers and sisters 
the same way, and also kill his mother and father. He alone 
made his escape during the terrible slaughter, and had declared 
war against all Indians, regardless of age or sex. 

John Crane came to Texas with his family in 1830 and settled 
in Nacogdoches. From there he moved in 1834 and settled 
about where Huntsville is now. A friend came with him, named 
Pleasant Grey, and they agreed to lay off their land adjoining 
and build close together, so they could be near neighbors. 

In 1835, when the Texas revolution broke out in a war with 
Mexico, Mr. Crane raised a company and went to San Antonio, 
and was one of the captains with his men who entered the town 
under Ben Milam and helped to capture General Cos and his 
army. Captain Crane was a relative of Capt. William Ware, 


who also commanded a company. After the fall of the Alamo 
and General Houston was retreating before the exultant Mexi- 
cans and settlers were fleeing, Captain Crane stayed with his 
and Captain Ware's families, and the latter went on to San Ja- 
cinto and led a company in the battle. 

Captain Crane carried the families from near Montgomery 
and crossed over the Sabine at Natchitoches, La., and remained 
there until the battle was fought, and then came back with the 
families to Montgomery, where Captain Ware joined them. 
Captain Crane then stayed three months in the service, until 
times were settled and all the troops discharged. He then 
moved to Walker County and settled about ten miles from 
Huntsville. While living here a war broke out with the Chero- 
kee Indians, and Captain Crane went out under General Eusk 
against them. In the battle which ensued he was killed — shot 
just under the heart by rifle ball. His body and that of a neigh- 
bor who was killed at the same time and fell with him were 
buried on the field by John Bobbins and Ben Highsmith. The 
Indian chiefs who led the Cherokees were Bowles and Big Mush,, 
both of whom were killed. 

In 1839 Miss Mary J. Crane married James Elkins, of Walker 
County. He died in 1844, and in 1848 she married John M. 
Davenport, in Kaufman County. They moved from, there to 
Sabinal Canyon in 1852 with Capt. William Ware. In 1854 
they moved below the mountains and settled at the German 
settlement of D'Hanis, and from there to Eanchero Creek and 
engaged in stock raising. In 1858 Mr. Davenport was captain 
of a minute company and had a fight with the Indians on the 
Leona Eiver, below the town of Uvalde. The Indians were sur- 
prised in camp and all killed but one. 

Shortly after this Captain Davenport started early one morn- 
ing to make a trip of several miles west to Blanco Creek to see 
some parties about cutting hay for him. When he started Mrs. 
Davenport cautioned him to keep a sharp lookout and to not 
let anyone get near him before he found out who it was. "All 
right," he said. "You take care of yourself and the children, 
and watch good when you go to the creek after water." This 
was the last time "Aunt Mary" saw her husband alive. He 
was killed (.hat evening by Indians near where Sabinal Station 
is now. Mrs. Davenport pointed out the spot to the writer as 




we sat on Mr. Fenley's gallery. The country then was mostly 
open prairie, with here and there motts of timber and thickets. 
Now it is covered with mesquite. Mr. Davenport was in three 
miles of home when the Indians came upon him, and the des- 
perate fight he had with them was witnessed by some Mexicans, 
but they were afraid to venture to his assistance. When the In- 
dians left they went to the spot and found Mr. Davenport just 
dying, and not able to speak. They pulled some arrows out of 
him, and one of them carried an arrow to Mrs. Davenport and 
told her the sad and startling news. Another Mexican carried 
an arrow to Mr. John Kennedy, and told him the news. Eun- 
ners were now sent to alarm the scattered settlers, and Mr. Ken- 
nedy came to the Davenport ranch. Mrs. Davenport wanted to 
go at once to where the dead body of her husband lay, and was 
about to start in company with Mr. John Kennedy, when Ross, 
his brother, came up and prevailed upon the bereaved wife to 


desist, as she might also be killed by the Indians, who in this 
short time could not be far away. The two Kennedy brothers 
now rode of! together, and John assured Mrs. Davenport that 
he would go and stay with the body of her slain husband until 
the settlers who lived below could get together. He took a lan- 
tern with him, and when night came lighted it and sat by the 
body with gun and pistol. When enough came an inquest was 
held by the dim lantern light, and before day the body was 
moved home. This was the first inquest held over a person 
killed by Indians. 

As soon as daylight came John Kennedy took some of the 
assembled men, and going back to the scene of the killing took 
the trail of the Indians. The others dug a grave and buried the 
dead man. The trailing party was joined by citizens of Uvalde 
and soldiers from Fort Inge. They overtook the Indians and 
had a fight with them, and obtained the pistol of Mr. Davenport. 
It was learned afterwards from a boy who was a captive at that 
time in Mexico that Davenport shot one Indian in the arm, one 
in the body, one in the hip and shoulder, and that one of them 
died of his wounds on their retreat. This was told by an In- 
dian to the boy. This Indian also said that they killed one white 
man in the morning that had no gun or pistol, but the one they 
killed in the evening fought like the devil. The man they killed 
in the morning was John Bowles. He was a brave man, but not 
being armed had no chance to fight. 

Davenport was killed about 4 o'clock in the evening of the 
same day. He was riding a mule that day, something he seldom 
did. He wanted to trade the mule; that was why he was riding 
him. The Mexicans who witnessed the fight said the Indians 
rode furiously around Davenport in a circle, yelling, lying low 
on their horses and shooting arrows. It was with difficulty he 
could hit them with his pistol, but fought them until he sank 
down full of arrows. 

Mrs. Davenport has spent many sleepless nights on account 
of Indians. She saw a band near the house once running horses. 
She remembers well how General Houston looked, and at one 
time made coffee for him. 

/. A. B GALES. 295 


Came to Texas in 1834. 

Mr. James A. Boales, one of the early settlers of Texas, was 
born in Christian County, Ivy., August 17, 1829, and came to 
Texas with his father, Capt. Calvin Boales, in 183-1, and set- 
tled on the Brazos River at a place afterwards known as Old 
Nashville. This place was named by the immigrants from Ten- 
nessee who settled there. The Boales family started to Texas 
from Lawrence County, Mississippi, in company with the Tandy 
family, their relatives. There was also of this party Billy Smith 
and Billy Moore. On the way they fell in with Jerry and John 
Bailey, and they all came on together. There also came about 
this time the Powers and McCanlis families. When the party 
arrived at their destination only two settlers had preceded them, 
and they were living in a camp. One of these was James Mc- 
Laughlin. When the Boales party arrived at the Brazos, oppo- 
site the place where they wished to settle, they had to stop and 
build a boat before they could cross their effects to the prairie 
and bluff on the other side. Like all Texas at that time, it 
looked wild and romantic. High grass covered the country in all 
directions, game was gentle and plentiful, and there was no lack 
of fresh meat at all times. Bread to these daring settlers was 
the greatest object in regard to food supply, and they soon 
learned to do without that without any great inconvenience when 
they could not obtain it. The soil was very rich, and small 
patches of corn were planted at the proper season. Before they 
could get plows and other farm utensils, these primitive Brazos 
farmers cleared off the high weeds and cane in the bottoms and 
planted their corn with handspikes, and then without much cul- 
tivation fair crops were made. When the corn was matured 
and well dried they made mortars to pound it in. Although the 
meal thus made was coarse and rough these people were happy 
and contented, and really saw more pleasure and enjoyed life 
better than most people do at this day and time. One great 
trouble they had to contend with while their crops were growing 
was the game. They had to guard against bear, deer ,and tur- 


keys to keep them from destroying the growing products before 
time to harvest. 

Among others with whom Mr. Boales came to Texas was 
Eev. Mr. Smith, a man who became noted in religious and edu- 
cational work in Texas, and who died mourned by all with whom 
he came in contact during his long and active life upon the wild 
frontiers of Texas. At the time of his appearance in Texas he 
was young, irreligious, and had no education, and for some time 
worked as a striker in a blacksmith shop at Old Nashville. Dur- 
ing a revival meeting he was converted, and showed so much 
zeal for the cause of Christ that he was taken in charge by two 
Baptist preachers, Garrett and Fisher, and educated. He it was 
who founded the famous college at Independence, which was 
afterwards moved to Belton. He was also a relative of the 
Boales family. 

When these first settlers pitched their camps and built their 
cabins along the banks of the Brazos they had no trouble with 
the Indians, who were quite numerous and often visited and 
traded with the whites. Peace and quiet, however, did not long 
remain. Mexico had trouble with her American colonies, which 
soon burst forth into open hostilities. After the fall of the 
Alamo the settlers all had to retreat before Santa Anna's army 
until the famous battle of San Jacinto was fought and won. 
The old settlers called this flight the "Kunaway scrape." The 
party with whom Mr. Boales, then a boy, made his escape was 
composed of about seventy-five persons. They went into camp 
on the west side of the Trinity Eiver at Clapp's ferry. There 
had been a great deal of rain during the flight, and the river was 
very high. Here, in anxious expectation, the settlers who had 
stayed with the women and children for their protection awaited 
news of the battle which they knew General Houston and the 
brave men with him would fight before they turned their backs 
on the soil of Texas. While in this condition of anxious solici- 
tude a man named Love came in hot haste with the astounding 
news that Houston's army had been cut to pieces and almost 
totally annihilated, and that they had better cross the Trinity 
at once and continue their flight. What could the wretched peo- 
ple do under such circumstances ? The impassable river was in 
front and the fierce Mexican army in the rear. After some con- 
sultation the few men of the party concluded to fight, and com- 

J. A. BOALES. 297 

menced the erection of breastworks. On the heels of this mes- 
senger, however, came an express from Houston telling the peo- 
ple he had Santa Anna a prisoner and had killed and captured 
most of his army, and for them to return to their homes, de- 
spair was now changed to joy, and shout after shout went up 
from the camp. Some say that the man Love was only in sight 
of the battle, and saw Houston's men prostrate themselves to 
avoid a discharge from cannon in the charge and thought they 
were all killed, and reported accordingly as he made his way 
east. The people at once commenced their westward march, and 
those that lived at Old Nashville arrived in due time. 

Shortly after these events Indian troubles commenced. A 
man and his brother named Riley moved further up the country 
with his family, intending to settle on the Gabriel, but were 
attacked by the Indians. In the fight that ensued one of the 
Rileys was killed, but his brother bravely continued the fight 
and succeeded in keeping off the savages and bringing away the 
body of his brother. While the fight was in progress the family 
made their escape into the brush and succeeded in getting back 
to Nashville on foot. There was also one man in the party who 
ran off when the fight commenced and made his escape. He 
reported that all of the party were killed. 

In 1837 Captain Erath with a small company of men had a 
desperate fight with the Indians on Elm Creek. Among others 
of the settlers who were killed in this fight was Frank Childress, 
with whom Mr. Boales was well acquainted. Erath County was 
named after this famous Capt. George B. Erath. He often 
stopped with the Boales family when down in that country. 

In 1838 a family named McLelland lived in a camp on Little 
River and were attacked by Indians. McLelland was gone, and 
the Indians took possession of the place, killed an infant child 
by dashing its brains out, and treated Mrs. McLellan with the 
most monstrous indignities. During the plundering of the 
camp the Indians found a quantity of whisky and all got drunk. 
When the effects of the liquor died out they all went to sleep and 
the woman made her escape in the night with three remaining 
children of the Folk family, whom she had taken to raise. Their 
names were John, Charley, and Elizabeth. Mrs. McLelland hid 
herself and these three children in a drift near the bank of the 
river. When the father came home he found the dead infant, 


his only child, and feathers were scattered where the Indians 
had ripped the beds and poured them out. They were gone, how- 
ever, and McLelland, not knowing where his wife and the other 
children w r ere, went down to the settlement and gave the alarm. 
A party came back with him, and his wife and the children were 
found nearly dead with hunger and exposure through several 
nights in the drift, fearing to come out. 

In this same year an election of some kind was to be held at 
Old Nashville, and McLelland and his neighbors who had moved 
up around him concluded to go down and vote. The men with 
him were Sam Jones and his two sons, Eli and Wiley, Isaac 
Standifer, and Solomon Long. McLelland went ahead of the 
others, against their advice, for they cautioned him to stay back 
with them, as the Indians might attack him if alone. He said : 
"No; I will go on; the Indians will not kill a Scotchman." (It 
seems he had a faster horse than the others.) About ten miles 
on the road above Old Nashville there are some peculiar shaped 
mounds called "sugar-loaf hills." Here the Indians attacked 
McLelland and killed him, and his body was found by the other 
men when they came along, who took it on to town and bur- 
ied it. 

Mr. Boales was acquainted with most of the men who took 
part in the famous Indian fight called "Bird's Victory." This 
was fought on Little River, about three miles from the present 
town of Belton, county seat of Bell County. The settlers far 
and near would occasionally get together and fort up at Old 
Nashville during some extensive Indian raid or series of raids. 
The ladies of Nashville, Tenn., had taken up a subscription and 
bought a small cannon and sent it to the settlers at this place to 
help defend themselves. It is thought that the presence of this 
little cannon saved the town from being attacked. The settlers 
would tire it occasionally at sunset or on holidays, and no doubt, 
the Indians were near enough at times to hear it, and knew it 
was there. 

In 1838 or 1839 five of Captain Erath's rangers were killed at 
a place called Postoak Island, or grove. This was a dense mott 
of postoak timber surrounded by open prairie, not far from the- 
road which led from the upper settlement to the town. The In- 
dians had been making raids incessantly for some time, and Cap- 
tain Erath thought it was best for the people to move down to 

/. A. BO ALES. 299 

town until something could be done to check the Indians. Some 
of them were not prepared with teams and wagons to go, and 
the captain sent five of his men to Nashville to procure wagons 
and teams for these people. After having accomplished what 
they went for, the rangers started back up the country, and were 
attacked by a large force of Indians in the open prairie near 
tli is grove. The particulars of this struggle can not be given, 
as none were left of the white men to tell the tale, but from the 
signs of the fight it must have been desperate. The names of 
the rangers were Dave Farmer, Clabe Neill, Jesse Bailey, Aaron 
Cullins, and Sterett Smith. The delay of these men in return- 
ing caused Captain Erath to send more men to see what the cause 
was. This scout came upon the scene of the battle and found 
the bodies. The bodies of Cullins and Smith were found in one 
of the wagons, and the other three were scattered on the prairie 
between the wagons and mott of timber. It is likely the Indians 
discovered them some distance olf and hid their force in or be- 
hind the mott, and when they charged out and cut the rangers 
off from this protection, they had made a desperate effort to 
fight their way through the Indians to it. It is likely also that 
some confusion reigned and there was no concert of action, as 
the scattered position of the bodies would show. The rangers 
either went down in one wagon and then each drove one back, or 
else they rode their horses down and worked them back thus far 
in the wagons, or some of them. The Indians got all the teams, 
guns, pistols, etc. 

About this time old "Grandpa" Neill was killed by the In- 
dians within 300 yards of the house of Mr. Boales. The morn- 
ing was foggy, but when the report of the gun was heard that 
killed him, the neighbors seized their weapons and went to his 
aid. They found his dead body, but his slayers were gone in the 
fog and could not be found. One of the sons of the old man 
named William was killed by Indians on Battle Creek while out 
with surveyors. Dr. Hill was also in this fight, but made his 
escape. James Shaw, a representative man of the people, was 
wounded, and a negro man belonging to Holtsclaugh was killed 
while out on another surveying expedition. This* negro's master 
and others made their escape. 

About 1840 a mail route was started between Old Nashville 
and "Washington and Independence. A man named Joe Taylor 


carried the mail, and often had narrow escapes from the In- 
dians. On one occasion they pursued him so close to town that 
the citizens heard his calls for help and came to his aid in time 
to save him. His old flint-lock gun had failed to fire, and the 
Indians ran on both sides of him and tried to catch his horse by 
the bridle. They also shot him in the shoulder with an escopet, 
and he shot one of the Indians with a large holster pistol he 
carried. They were not likely aware he had this pistol, and ran 
close upon him when his gun failed to fire. In the chase the 
mail bag was lost. 

In 1841 three families lived on Walker Creek, where Cam- 
eron is now. They were Capt. Dan Walker, Billy Smith, and a 
man named Monroe. The Indians being very bad, they con- 
cluded to move down to the big settlement on the Brazos, and 
were all fixing to start from the same house when they were 
attacked by the Indians. The men had just commenced to lift 
a big box into a wagon when the savages made their appearance, 
and dropping it ran into the house and a battle commenced. 
Now, it seems that all the money wealth of the Smiths was in 
the box, and when the Indians advanced toward the wagons to 
take shelter behind them Grandma Smith ran out under fire 
and lifting the lid off the box secured the money and ran back 
without getting hurt, leaving the box lid standing up. An In- 
dian had a curiosity to know what was in the box and crawled 
up behind the standing lid and reached his hand around to feel 
in the box, but at this moment a ball from the rifle of Uncle 
Billy Smith put an end to his existence. He made the calcula- 
tion as to the position of his body, and shot him through the 
box lid. The Indians had enough of the battle now, and left, 
dragging their dead companion away, and the settlers finished 
loading and came on clown to town. The Smiths were related to 
the Boales family. 

Mr. Boales knew the old pioneer Baptist preacher, Z. N". Mor- 
rell, and attended a camp meeting held by him once, and dur- 
ing a service, while the people were thick under the arbor, a 
band of mounted Indians dashed by and fired into the crowd, 
killing two men. Some of the Avhite men had guns and re- 
turned the fire, but no Indian was killed. Mr. Boales' father, 
Calvin Boales, was captain of a company of rangers and did 
good service on the frontier. Mr. Boales says he used to camp 

./. A. BOALES. 301 

with his wagon where Hearne is now, and no one lived there ex- 
cept Billy McGrew. He knew Fort Sulivan when there was no 
one there except Sulivan, his negro man Dennis, and a man 
named Poole. He voted in Bee County the first election held 
there, and after moving further west voted in Edwards County 
at the first election held there. He was in Milam County when 
Burleson was cut off. 

When the Civil War broke out Mr. Boales joined the Confed- 
erate army and served on the Texas coast in Hobby's regiment. 
P. H. Breeden was his captain, commanding company C. He- 
was in the fight at Corpus Christi and Fort Esperanza. After 
this the regiment went to Galveston, and was quartered at Boli- 
var Point until ordered from there to Virginia Point to guard 
the bridge to keep deserters from crossing. This was about the 
wind-up of the war, and soon after the regiment was disbanded. 

He was made a Mason in 1864, while stationed at Bolivar 
Point. The lodge was called Hobby Lodge. 

In 1881 he moved westward and settled in Frio Canyon, Ed- 
wards County, 120 miles west of San Antonio. He arrived in 
August, a few months after Mrs. McLauren and Allen Lease 
were killed by the Indians. He has made several short, moves 
around, once to Uvalde and then to Dry Frio, and is now back in 
Main Frio Canyon. 

The writer has spent several nights with "Uncle Jimmy" and 
his good lady. They are old-time Texans, and one can sit and 
listen for hours to "Uncle Jimmy" without tiring of his truth- 
ful statements of the pioneer da vs. 




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F. G. TINS LEV. 303 


Came to Texas in 1834. 

Fountain Gillespie Tinsley was born in Barren County, Ken- 
tucky, November 23, 1832, and came to Texas with his parents in 
1834. His father, Dr. John Turner Tinsley, was in the battle at 
Gonzales in 1885, when the Mexicans came there to take the can- 
non, an account of which is elsewhere mentioned. 

In 1836, after the Mexicans had stormed the Alamo and Gen. 
Sam Houston was at Gonzales with his army, he made the Tin- 
sley house his headquarters. Mr. F. G. Tinsley could remem- 
ber seeing General Houston and sitting in his lap. When the 
army left Gonzales on the approach of the Mexican army under 
Santa Anna, Dr. Tinsley materially aided the cause of inde- 
pendence by making a trip to the coast after ammunition and in- 
tercepting the army of Houston on their line of march with the 
powder and lead in time to be used in the famous battle of San 
Jacinto, which was fought soon after. Dr. Tinsley and his wife 
Nancy both died at Gonzales at a very advanced age. 

The subject of our sketch was in the famous flight before the 
victorious Mexicans after the massacre of the heroes of the Al- 
amo, and rather indistinctly remembers the terrible hardships 
endured by the fleeing families from Gonzales towards the Sa- 
bine, in the rain, mud, and water of that Wet month of April. 

After the victory at San Jacinto the Tinsley family, among 
many others, came back to Gonzales and erected new homes over 
the ashes of their former ones, which had been burned. When 
General Houston left Gonzales with his men, and all the fam- 
ilies were gone, he left two men with instructions to burn the 
town on the approach of the Mexicans, which they did. 

Mr. Tinsley grew up to manhood at Gonzales. He was of a 
lively disposition, fond of music and dancing, and was a fine per- 
former on the violin. He was much liked and a general favorite 
among all the young people. He had three sisters — Mary, 
Amanda, and Virginia — and one brother, John. The eldest sis- 
ter, Mary, married a Mr. Sweeny; Amanda married Crockett 
Jones, and Virginia married Andrew Moore. John married 


Miss Dora Houston of Gonzales, and still lives there, as does also 
Amanda. The others are dead. F. G. Tinsley married Miss 
Sarah Almedia Davis, at Gonzales, on the 29th of June, 1854. 
The ceremony was performed by Justice of the Peace John Goss. 
Just prior to the Civil War Mr. Tinsley moved westward and 
settled on the Hondo Eiver, in Medina County. Here he raised 
stock, taught school, and for some time served Medina County 
in the capacity of justice of the peace. 

This was a frontier country, and Mr. Tinsley with his young 
family passed through all of the exciting times of Indian raids, 
murders, and alarms, and forting-up of the scattered settlers 
for protection. In one Indian battle his brother-is -law, Nathan 
Davis, was severely wounded with an arrow. Wild animals were 
numerous, and their, roars and screams could be heard at night 
as they came out of the jungles of chaparral and prickly pear 
down to the Hondo Eiver on the opposite side from the house 
to quench their thirst. There were wildcats, panthers, tigers, 
and Mexican lions. These larger ones were shy in daylight and 
could seldom be seen. They depredated constantly on young 
stock and were very annoying to the stockmen. One of these, 
Gip Tille}r, conceived the idea of having a large steel trap made, 
with which to catch a lion or any other of the larger animals. 
With this purpose in view he went to San Antonio and suc- 
ceeded in getting one which weighed about seventy-five pounds. 
The animals had a regular beaten trail from the thickets to the 
water, and in this trail Mr. Tilley set his trap, but failed to 
drive a stout stake near to fasten the chain to. A Mexican lion 
got caught, but ran away with the trap on his foot. Next morn- 
ing Mr. Tinsley and Mr. Tilley trailed him for several miles 
where he ran, and in places where the ground was soft holes were 
made several inches deep where he shoved the trap into it. He 
ran over prickly pears and tore them down as if a cart had passed 
over them. The trail was finally abandoned at a place where the 
pears and brush were so dense that a person could not advance 
any further without crawling. The time will come, perhaps, 
when these thickets will be cleared up, and some farmer will 
plow up a steel trap with the skeleton of a foot in it. 

On one occasion Mr. Tinsley and others were out on a cow- 
hunt and camped in a draw with low brushy hills around and 
hobbled out their horses. One of the men killed a deer near by, 

F. G. TINSLEY. 305 

and the hams were cut oil' for use and the balance left. N"ex1 
morning Mr. Tinsley went to gel his horse, and passing by the 

spot whore the remains of the deer were left discovered that they 
were gone. Not seeing bis horse in the draw, he started through 
the' brush and Spanish daggers which covered a small hill to look 
in a little valley on the other side. He had proceeded but a few 
yards, pressing through the undergrowth, when a fierce growl, 
deep and guttural, came from about the densest portion of the 
jungle in front of him. He had on a revolver, but backed out the 
way he came and went on around and got his horse. This was 
no doubt a lion, and it had the remains of the deer in there. 
When the other men were informed of the fact it was at first 
decided to make an assault on the thicket and route the animal, 
but some of the older men said it was best to- leave him alone, not 
that' they had any fear of the beast, but in those days only cap 
and ball arms were used, and the men only had their sixshoot- 
ers along, and ammunition was scarce, and a battle with a lion 
with navies would exhaust all of their shots, and afterwards the 
party might be attacked by a band of Indians. So the monarch 
of the jungle was left alone with his prey. 

On another occasion Mr. Tinsley was out alone hunting stock, 
and as frontiersmen sometimes will do, left his firearms at home. 
He saw no Indians, but found a big black bear up a low tree, 
and conceived the idea of roping him and pulling him out and 
then trying to kill him with a pocket knife. The bear was fat and 
lazy and made no attempt to get clowm and try to escape, and 
the noose was thrown nicely over his head and he was pulled out. 
Mr. Tinsley was riding a trained cow pony, and now circled rap- 
idly around the struggling bear and soon so entangled him in 
the coils of the rope that he was helpless, and lay panting and 
growling on the ground. Mr. Tinsley now dismounted and 
opened his knife, and while his cow pony held the rope taut, 
cut bruin's throat. The animal would weigh several hundred 
pounds, and a pack horse had to be brought to carry it all away. 
In the meantime, however, a great alarm had been raised in the 
country. A man on his horse on the top of a hill a long distance 
off had witnessed the roping and killing of the bear by Mr. Tin- 
sley, and reported Indians in the country, and that he had seen 
them kill one man in the valley of Black Creek. Eunners were 


sent all over the country, and men gathered at different ranches 
to organize a scout. A messenger came to Mr. Tinsley and in- 
formed him of the raid, and when he learned about the man 
seen killed at a certain place on Black Creek, told his informer 
to go back and counteract the alarm, as it was himself killing 
a bear, and he had just brought it in. 

In 1861, when the Indians made the big raid, penetrating the 
settlements as far as Pleasanton, in Atascosa County, men gath- 
ered from all over the country to fight them, and Mr. Tinsley 
and his brother-in-law, Nathan Davis, and other Hondo settlers 
rallied to the call and joined the men from Sabinal and Seco, 
and all to the number of thirty or more went under command 
of Big Foot Wallace in pursuit of them. The account of the 
trailing and battle at the head of Seco has been fully described 
elsewhere. Mr. Tinsley was with the main body when the fight 
commenced in front on the side of the mountain, and when the 
boys were hurled back on the second squad, went back in the re- 
treat and dismounted and tied his horse with others at the foot 
of the mountain on the bank of a cedar-timbered ravine. Cap- 
tain Wallace and others took shelter under cedar trees and a 
rock ledge to the left, but a more advanced position. The In- 
dians were firing continually at them both with firearms and 
bows. Mr. Tinsley took shelter behind a cedar tree, but soon 
perceived that some one had picked him out and was firing at 
him especially. He soon located his man, who was about 200 
yards away, half up the mountain, and firing with a rifle. He 
would conceal himself to load and then step between the rocks to 
shoot. He had on a hat and a white shirt. They had killed many 
people on this trip and had stripped them of their arms and 
clothing, and were using the weapons now in this battle, and 
some had invested themselves in the shirts and hats of the slain 
settlers. Mr. Tinsley had a short, heavy rifle, and fired two shots' 
at the fellow, but "perceived that his bullets were falling short. 
The Indian cut off one limb an inch thick with one of his shots, 
within a foot of Mr. Tinsley's head. He now poured two full 
charges of powder in his gun, and when loaded and capped laid 
the rifle in a fork of the tree and awaited for another opportunity 
to shoot at bis man. When the Indian again appeared to fire, 
the white man fired first, aiming high at the white shirt front. 
The doubles harged rifle made a loud report, and kicked back 

F. G. TINSLEY, 307 

under the arm of Mr. Tinsley, and the breech struck the ground 
a yard in Ins rear, making the small gravel fly in various direc- 
tions, and the hammer going back at a full cock. The white- 
shirted man was seen no more. A few days after the fight a 
party of Sabinal men went over the battleground, and among 
other things picked up a hat near the spot where he stood to 

When the fight was over Wallace and his men went to Sabinal 
Canyon. It was cold and sleeting, and before morning Mr. Tins- 
ley had a very sore throat, and did not go on the trip to cut the 
Indians off at the head of the Sabinal, but loaned his pistol to 
Mr. Bob Kinchaloe, who went. 

Soon after this Mr. Tinsley enlisted in the Confederate army 
and served in the regiment of Colonel Woods and in the com- 
pany of Capt. Josiah Taylor. He removed his family to Gon- 
zales, and they remained there until the close of the war. Mr. 
Tinsley was in most of the fighting in Louisiana, including the 
big battle of Mansfield. Before this engagement closed quite a 
number of Federals were captured and sent into the city of Mans- 
field near by, with a strong guard to hold them until the battle 
was over. Among this detail of guards was Mr. Tinsley. The 
prisoners were held in the courtyard, and during the time a citi- 
zen of Mansfield came riding up on a fine horse to look at them. 
He was very fleshy, and sat back in his saddle with, a very im- 
portant and pompous look on his face, for he was very wealthy, 
and commenced cursing and abusing the captured soldiers. He 
shook his fist at them, and said he had a good mind to get down 
there and cut every one of their throats. Mr. Tinsley walked up 
close to his horse and said: "Look here, my friend; these are 
prisoners. Do you hear those cannons down there? Go down 
there and you can get accommodated. Where those guns are fir- 
ing men are in that business — cutting throats. Go down there 
and take a hand, or truck back the way you came." The fellow 
looked for a moment at the little black-eyed man who thus ad- 
dressed him, and then, wheeling his horse, went back up the 
street in the opposite direction to the sound of rifles and cannon. 
After he was gone one of the prisoners who was standing near, 
and who wore the shoulder-straps of a colonel in the L T nion army, 
asked Mr. Tinsley his name and what State he was from, and on 


being given the information took out a notebook and pencil and 
made an entry of it. 

When the war was over Mr. Tinsley came back to Gonzales 
and moved to his old home on the Hondo, but did not remain 
long. His stock were mostly gone or badly scattered and wild, 
and he again returned to Gonzales Comity. From here he re- 
moved to Guadalupe County and remained several years, and 
again moved west, settling near Benton City, in Atascosa County. 
During the last eight or ten years of his life he preached the gos- 
pel of Christ under the auspices of the Methodist church. He 
died at his home, twenty miles south of San Antonio, on the 13th 
of February, 1896. He was long afflicted and confined to his bed 
the last six months of his life, but accepted the chastening hand 
of God as a child of God, thanking his Creator for the many 
manifestations of his mercy and love. 

Mr. Tinsley was the father of nine children, all girls. Their 
names were as follows, according to age : Mary, Almedia, Nannie, 
Emma, Betty, Cordelia, Sopha, Mattie, Eddie. Mrs. Tinsley still 
survives and lives with a married 'daughter, Cordelia, near the 
old home. Those that survive of the- children are all married. 
The eldest, Mary Lillian, married the writer; Almedia married. 
a brother, Leroy P. Sowell, who lives in San Antonio; Nannie 
married Andrew Wildman, son of a Baptist preacher who lives 
near Devine, Medina County; Emma married David Calk, and 
they live in San Antonio. Betty died when she was about eight- 
een years of age, unmarried ; Cordelia married Pearl Briggs, son 
of a Baptist preacher ; he kept the store and postoffice at Segler, 
and died there in 1898; Sopha married William Pue, son of a 
Baptist preacher, and they live in San Antonio ; Mattie married 
Emmett Huett, and they live in San Antonio ; Eddie died when 
she was two years of age. 

Mary Lillian Sowell, wife of the author, was small when her' 
parents lived on the Hondo, but can remember when one of their 
neighbors, Eube Smith, was killed by Indians, and the settlers 
forted-up at his house, while part of the men followed the In- 
dians and fought a battle with them. One of her uncles, Nathan 
Davis, was badly wounded in the fight. She can remember how 
the dead man looked. She and some other little girls were afraid 
to go close to him. He was scapled and very bloody. 



Came to Texas in 1837. 

In Medina County, three miles north of Devine, lives one of 
Jack Hays' old rangers, Thomas Galbreath. When we find one 
of the old-time rangers who followed Ed Burleson, Jack Hays, 
and other border leaders in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, we get in- 
formation that is of more than passing interest. They tell of 
the time when they used flintlock rifles and heavy single-shot 
pistols. During some of these years percussion locks had come in 
use, but still many used the old-time flint which their fathers 
carried in the last British war. 

Mr. Galbreath was born in Macon County, North Carolina, on 
the 22cl day of March, 1823, and came to Texas in March, 1837. 
In the fall of the same year the Galbreath family settled at Bas- 
trop, on the Colorado Eiver, which was then the outside settle- 
ment. The Indians were so hostile and made such frequent 
raids that these isolated settlers at times almost despaired of sus- 
taining themselves. Gen. Edward Burleson, who had already 
distinguished himself in the Texas revolution, lived seven miles 
below Bastrop, and to him the people looked for protection and 
advice in these perilous times. Burleson said, "We must defeat 
the Indians in a general engagement, or else leave the country." 
It was decided by the settlers to endeavor to give the Indians a 
battle, and to do this they must invade their stronghold, which 
was in the mountains far up the Colorado. General Burleson was 
asked to lead the force, which was soon raised, of men and boys 
who could load and shoot a gun and had a horse. 

About one hundred settlers assembled at Bastrop for the ex- 
pedition. Among this number was Thomas Galbreath, then a 
boy of 15 years of age, and carrying his father's old flintlock rifle. 
He had only that year come to Texas, and had never seen a wild 

General Burleson led his men up the Colorado to the month of 
the Llano, and there came upon the Indians in their village in 
large force. Besides the warriors there were many squaws and 
children. The Comanches were aware of the approach of the 


white men, and met them half a mile from their village to give 
them battle. Burleson formed his men in one line, and the In- 
dians came st a full running charge and yelling loudly. They 
presented a formidable appearance, riding good horses, their 
shields on their left arms, and a quiver full of arrows protrud- 
ing above the left shoulder. All had on the fierce-looking war 
paint, and many of them had buffalo horns on their head. Their 
long black hair waved in the breeze like streamers behind them. 
Their looks, loud yells, and impetuous charge was enough to 
strike terror to the hearts of men who had never met them be- 
fore. Young Galbreath felt uneasy, and said if he had seen any- 
one else run he would have followed suit. He looked at the men 
around him. Some had fought Indians before, and seemed in 
nowise put out by this demonstration on the part of the Coman- 
ches. General Burleson passed close to Galbreath with fire in his 
eye and giving his commands short and quick, in about these 
words : "Dismount now, men, and stand to them. They are not 
going to run over us. Hold your rifles ready and don't shoot too 
quick. Take good aim. We will scatter them the first fire. 77 
Many of the Indians were nearly naked. They came as if they 
were going to run over the settlers without making any halt. 
The loud, clear voice of Burleson was heard, "Fire, boys, fire !■" 
There was a rattling, cracking volley all along the line, and the 
Indians divided, circling right and left all around the white men. 
They lay low on the opposite side of their horses and shot arrows 
as they went. The effect of the fire from Burleson's men could 
be seen in front. Horses were down and struggling amidst dead 
and crippled Indians, while others were running riderless with 
the charge. Others turned back, bullet stricken, and galloped in 
terror from the field. Some of the Indians who had been fatally 
hit were falling from their horses as they passed around the set- 
tlers. "Load quick, men; they will come again," said the com- 
mander. The fight lasted some time, the Comanches making 
four charges in all. When the quick eye of Burleson perceived 
that they had begun to weaken, he ordered his men to mount with 
loaded guns and charge them. The Indians gave way and began 
their retreat across the open prairie towards the mountains, not 
even stopping at their village. The running fight lasted two 
miles, and then the pursuit was called off. The settlers came 
back by way of the village and took possession of a number of 


horses, eighty head in all. The squaws looked sullen and would 
not talk. They were mad because the warriors had been whipped 
and had run away. The horses which were taken belonged to the 
settlers around Bastrop. None of Burleson's men were killed on 
the ground, but many were hit with arrows and some died after- 
wards. The Indians had no firearms. Many of the settlers' horses 
were wounded. Mr. Galbreath says this battle caused the settle- 
ment to start where Austin is now, but it was then called Water- 
loo. During the fight he fired his rifle four times. The Indians 
moved further west. 

Living near Bastrop was a man named Manlove, who was the 
owner of a fine pair of gray horses which were stolen by the In- 
dians. He was greatly distressed about his buggy team, and 
called on his neighbors to help recover them. Mr. Galbreath and 
several others responded and at once set out on the trail. They 
had Tonkaway John with them, who was a good trailer and also 
fighter. He was a Tonkaway Indian, and lived with General 
Burleson. The trail of the Comanches was followed rapidly by 
John, and on the evening of the same day the party started the 
hostiles were discovered. They were camped in a ravine cooking 
meat, and the smoke from their fire betrayed them. The white 
men charged into the ravine, but the Indians discovered them in 
time to make their escape and carry one of Manlove's horses 
with them, but leaving the other. The men had ridden all day 
without anything to eat, and at once proceeded to appease their 
hunger upon the roasted meat left by the Indians. While en- 
gaged in this they heard an Indian yell, and soon discovered him 
on a hill mounted on Manlove's horse. When he perceived that 
the white men were looking at him he yelled again and began 
to wheel the horse in a circle. There was a man of the party 
named Hutch Reed, who was riding a very fast horse, and Ton- 
kaway John said if Reed would let him have this horse he would 
catch the Comanche and bring his scalp and Manlove's horse 
back. Reed said, "All right ; but don't you loose my horse." 
The Tonkaway mounted the fast horse w r ith a sardonic grin on 
his face and set out, only carrying in the way of arms his bow 
and arrows. When the Comanche saw John coming to chase him 
he left the hill and galloped off across the valley, yelling de- 
fiance, thinking he could easily get away. When John got clear 
of some ravines and rocky places and turned his horse loose the 


Comanche began to get uneasy and kicked and whipped very 
energetically. It was no use, however; the gray was no match 
for Reed's horse. The hostile Indian, seeing that he could not 
save himself by flight, strung his bow, and a battle with arrows 
commenced between the two red men. It was evident the Co- 
manche was rattled and shot wild, while John soon filled him 
full of arrows in spite of his artful dodging and dextrous use of 
shield. When the Tonkaway finally came up alongside of him 
the Comanche threw away his bow and begged for life. John 
paid no attention to this, but taking him by the hair pulled 
him from his horse, and dismounting, repeatedly stabbed him 
with a long knife and then scalped him. Remounting now and 
catching the gray, he came galloping and yelling hack to his 
white companions, leading Manlove's horse with one hand and 
waving the bloody sc^alp with the other. Manlove was profuse 
in his thanks, and dilated on the bravery and prowess of John. 

From Bastrop Mr. Galbreath moved to Cedar Creek, ten miles 
from town, and there hunted and farmed until the 


This was in 1840. In this year the Comahches, smarting un- 
der the defeats inflicted on them by General Burleson and by 
Col. John H. Moore, made a raid on a large scale through Texas. 
They penetrated to the coast, sacked and burned the town of 
Linnville. partly destroyed Victoria, killed and captured some 
of the settlers, and then commenced their retreat back to the 
mountains with a great deal of plunder. There were about 600 
warriors, besides squaws, and as the settlements were scattering 
in those days and chiefly confined to the watercourses, it was 
some time before men enough could assemble at any given point 
to successfully fight them. In going down from the mountains' 
the Indians had kept between the rivers, where there were no set- 
tlements, and consequently were not discovered until a short 
time before their attack upon Linnville. Runners were sent to 
the various settlements, and men began to cut across the country 
in small squads from the valleys of the Colorado, Guadalupe, 
and San Marcos. Mr. Galbreath heard the news at his home on 
Cedar Creek, and mounting his horse dashed away to the Colo- 
rado, where he found General Burleson at the head of a large 


company and just starting for the scene of action. Joining him, 
the command started across the country towards the San Marcos 
and Ghiadampe country, hoping to intercept or cross the trail of 
the Comanches, who were said to he traveling between the San 
Marcos and Colorado, going west. On this route they intercepted 
Guadalupe and San Marcos men, who were already on the trail of 
the Indians. Among these men were Matthew Caldwell, Jack 
Hays, Ben McCulloch, Henry McCulloch, Dr. Switzer, Aulcy 
Miller, French Smith, Ezekiel Smith, Andrew Sowell, John So- 
well, James Nichols, Wilson Eandle, Barney Handle, and others. 

Among the Colorado men were Z. N. Morrell, the Baptist: 
preacher, and Ben Highsmith, the San Jacinto veteran. 

The combined forces now numbered more than one hundred 
men. Nine miles from where the Colorado and Guadalupe men 
•consolidated they caught up with the Indians. This place was 
at Plum Creek, within the present limits of Caldwell County, 
and about three miles from Lockhart, the present county seat. 
Two Indians had been left on a ridge as spies, and sat on their 
horses and watched the approach of the white men until they 
were almost within gunshot of them. Both of these fellows had 
on plug hats which they had obtained at the looting of Linnville, 
and presented a most comical appearance. A hat never becomes 
a wild Indian. With his thick, long hair it never fits, and he 
looks as if he was masquerading with one on. Among the front 
men of the whites was George Neill, who had a long-range gun. 
Dismounting, he said he would move them, and aiming high, 
fired. At the crack of the gun the Indians wheeled their horses 
quick to run, and both lost their plug, hats. An Indian's head is 
not shaped right to wear a hat, and it is hard for him to keep it 
in place. The writer, while a ranger in 1870, remembers seeing 
the friendly Indians who were in the government service as 
scouts at Fort Griffin wearing hats, but they had to tie them on, 
otherwise every time their horses jumped or a puff of wind came 
off they would go. Before the battle came off many more men 
came, until about two hundred were following the Indians. A 
large company came from down towards the coast, under the 
command of Gen. Felix Huston. The Indians made one general 
stand, but soon broke before the terrible fire of the rifles, and 
the balance of the battle and pursuit was quite extended, covering 
several miles of country. Many of the Indians had on fine coats 


and boots, and some of them carried umbrellas over them. They 
had many horses and mules packed with goods, and these were 
rushed on ahead by the squaws, while the warriors fought the 
battle. At a mott of timber the Comanches rallied in large force 
and a sharp fight ensued, but they again fled and scattered. Mr. 
Galbreath says that here he saw a white woman and a negro girl 
who had been killed by the Indians when they began to retreat 
from the place. He says another woman was shot with an arrow, 
but was not killed. He does not remember their names. (These 
were Mrs. Watt, Mrs. Crosby, and a servant girl captured at 
Linnville.) It was Mrs. Watt that was killed. Many of the 
pack animals gave out in the long run and were abandoned and 
fell into the hands of the Texans. After the Indians left this 
place they came to a boggy branch, and many of the horses of the 
Indians stuck fast, and here they left all of the pack animals, 
with probably a feAV exceptions, and most of the saddle horses. 
Some of the hindmost Indians used some of the poor bogged ani- 
mals as pontoons, and passed over the place on their bodies. The 
white men ran around the head of the boggy branch and cut off 
some of the Indians who were on foot and killed them. 

The pursuit lasted to the foot of the mountains, between where 
the towns of San Marcos and Kyle are now, and was there aban- 
doned, as all of the horses were run down, having passed over 
fifteen miles of country in the chase. The men collected where 
the fight was severest and most Indians killed, and there camped 
for the night. Some of the white men were wounded, but none- 
killed. James Nichols, one of the Guadalupe men, received a 
peculiar wound. He was in the act of firing, when a bullet 
from the Indians struck him between the middle and forefinger 
of the right hand and lodged in the wrist. His gun fell without 
being discharged. 

There were ten Tonkaway Indians with Burleson's men, and 
that night after camp was made they cut off the hands and feet 
of the dead Comanches who lay near, and roasted and ate them. 
They also cut one big fat fellow into strips and hung the pieces 
on a rope. 

Many narrow escapes were made by men crowding the Indians 
too closely when the main body of whites was too far behind and' 
the Comanches turning back on them. Ben McCulloch had an 


experience of this character. Some were hurt by their horses fall- 
ing with them. 

Soon after the battle of Plum Creek the Galbreaths moved and 
settled near where the first fight eommeneed. a few miles from 
the present town of Lockhart. 

In 1842, when San Antonio was captured by the Mexicans, 
Mr. Galbreath went with other citizens to fight them. Among 
those he went in company with were the Buntons and Capt. 
Jesse Billingsly. This party joined the other Texans on the 
Salado, seven miles northeast of San Antonio. All were under 
the command of Gen. Matthew Caldwell of Gonzales. Capt. 
Jack Hays was also there with a company of rangers, having 
been commissioned by General Houston to raise a force for fron- 
tier protection soon after the battle of Plum Creek. General 
Wall had possession of San Antonio with about 1500 men. Cap- 
tain Hays with his mounted rangers drew him out to Caldwell's 
position. Wall crossed his army to the east side of the creek 
facing the Texans, planted cannon, and the battle commenced. 
The Texans, 200 in number, acted on the defensive, dodging the 
pecan limbs which were cut off by the cannon balls and were 
falling among them. The Mexican commander thought to rout 
the Texans with this artillery fire, but failing, made prepara- 
tions to charge them. Cavalry was sent across the creek to 
cut off their escape on that side, and Cherokee Indians posted 
on the creek below, and both infantry and cavalry sent above to 
head off any fugitives in that direction. The Mexicans little 
knew what kind of men they had to deal with. All were good 
shots and frontier men, with such Indian fighters as Hays, 
McCulloch, Walker, Gillespie, Lucky, Dunn. Ackland, Chevalier, 
Xeill, Wallace, Galbreath, Highsmith, and many others equally 
as good. When the bugles sounded the charge the Mexicans 
came in fine style and in such dense masses that for a while the 
situation looked critical. They came almost in among the Tex- 
ans and fired their escopets. The latter, protected by the creek 
bank and pecan trees, poured such, a volley of death and destruc- 
tion into their ranks that their formation was broken up and 
they went back in confusion and disorder to the battery on the 
elevated ground. A company of cavalry also charged close, but 
the horses recoiled at the fire, and those who lost their riders 
went back in confusion, knocking down some of the infantry as 


they did so. Loud and continuous cheering went up from the 
Texans. The cannons now opened again, but Caldwell's men 
only yelled the louder. Several more charges were made, but 
without success, on the part of the Mexicans, and many were 
killed and wounded. 

Mr. Galbreath said the Mexican cavalrymen had on the larg- 
est spurs he ever saw, and when any of their horses were shot 
down the troopers could not run with their spurs on, and were 
invariably killed if they happened to be near the riflemen. The 
Towels were several inches in diameter and dragged on the 
ground. They would try to run on their toes so as to lift the 
rowels from the ground. The ground there after the battle 
looked as if a garden rake had been used over the ground. The 
Mexicans were badly defeated by Caldwell, but they cut off the 
force under Capt. Nicholas Dawson of fifty men from Fayette 
County and almost annihilated them. They were coming to the 
sound of the firing, thinking the Mexicans were on the west side 
of the creek, but discovered their mistake when too late. They 
fought Wall's whole army until nearly all were killed. Two 
made their escape — Aulsy Miller and Gonzalvo Woods. About 
twelve were captured. One of these was the young son of Kev. 
Z. N. Morrell, who was with Caldwell, not knowing at the time 
that his boy was with Dawson. The following are some of the 
men who were killed : Captain Dawson, First Lieutenant Diek- 
erson, Zodack Woods, David Berry, John Slack, John Cummins, 
— ■ Church, Harvey Hall, Robert Barclay, Wesley Scallorn, ETiam 
Scallorn, Asa Jones, Robert Eastland, Frank Brookfield, George 
Hill, John W. Pendleton, J. B. Alexander, Edmond Timble, 
Charles Field, Thomas Simms, — Butler, John Dancer, and a 
negro belonging to the Mavericks. He had been sent out by Mrs. 
Maverick to try and communicate with his master, who had been 
captured while attending court in San Antonio when the place, 
was taken by the Mexicans. The Mavericks were then living on 
the Colorado, near Eel Mantoirs. They had sent this trusty 
slave with Dawson, hoping he might be able to learn something 
of Mr. Maverick. Poor fellow ! Faithful to his trust, he died 
by the side of Dawson, fighting to the last. 

Mr. Galbreath says these were not all the men who were killed 
that day trying to get to the position of Dawson. They were 
found killed all over the prairie on both sides of the creek. 


He says a man named Butler with eight men heard the firing 
of the rangers and Mexicans on the west side of the creek during 
tlie running fight from town, and thinking it was the main hody 
of Texans, and that they were engaged, crossed over there and 
were cut off by the cavalry and killed. 

The loss of the Texans during the various engagements of the 
day was less than one hundred killed and wounded, the heaviest 
being that of Dawson. The Mexicans went back to San An- 
tonio, and becoming alarmed at the result of the battle, hastily 
decamped for Mexico. They were followed by the Texans, and 
the rangers under Hays fought the rear guard at the Hondo, but 
there the pursuit was abandoned and the men returned to their 

After the return of Captain Hays from the Somervell expe- 
dition in 1843, Mr. Galbreath joined his company of rangers,, 
which was stationed on the Leon Creek west of San Antonio.. 
Not long after joining the company he went on a scout and par- 
ticipated in the famous 


When Captain Hays went on this scout, his intention was to- 
go out to the head of the Guadalupe River, and then down some 
of the canyons below the mountains and then back to camp. 
The scout numbered between thirty and forty men, among whom 
were Ben McCulloch, Sam Walker, Kit Ackland, Ad Gillespie, 
George Neill, Sam Lucky, James Dunn, P. H. Bell, Mike Che- 
valier, Ben Highsmith, Lee Jackson, and Tom Galbreath. The 
others can not now be remembered. Sam Walker. had just re- 
turned from Mexico, having made his escape from the Mexicans 
after the capture at the ill-fated battle of Mier. Some of the old 
Hays rangers who were also captured at Mier were still in prison, 
among whom was Big Foot Wallace. 

The course of the rangers after leaving camp was northwest. 
They struck the Medina Eiver above where Castroville is now, 
and kept up that stream to where the town of Bandera is now. 
Tl^e last camp of the rangers before the fight was made here.. 
Xext morning they turned north towards the Bandera Pass r 
which they entered about 10 o'clock in the morning. 

The Comanches had discovered the approach of the rangers- 


as they came through the open country south towards the Med- 
ina, and laid an ambush for them in the pass. They had all of 
the advantage for the first onset, being concealed among the 
rocks and short gullies on both sides of the pass, which is about 
500 yards in length by 125 in width. This pass runs through a 
range of mountains which divides the Yerde Creek valley from 
the Medina. The Indians let the rangers get about one-third 
of the way through, and then commenced firing from both sides 
at once. The rangers were coming two and three together, and 
the sudden and unexpected fire threw the front men into a mo- 
mentary confusion, mostly, however, on account of frightened 
and wounded horses, which tried to wheel and run back. The 
Comanches greatly outnumbered the rangers, and for some time 
the battle was hotly contested. The Indians had guns among 
them, besides bows and arrows, and men were killed and wounded 
on every side. Captain Hays was cool and collected, and gave 
orders as if everything was all right. "Steady there, boys," he 
exclaimed. "Get down and tie those horses. We can whip 
them." Many of the Indians came down the pass and engaged 
the rangers at close quarters. Pistols were freely used, and 
some hand to hand conflicts took place, in one of which the Co- 
manche chief was killed by Kit Ackland, who was himself 
wounded by the daring chief. Before the fight was over nearly 
one-third of the rangers were killed and wounded. The Indians 
had many killed, and some were carrying them back towards 
the north end of the pass during the fight. Mr. G-albreath was 
wounded with an arrow during the severest part of the conflict. 
He was on the ground facing towards the north, and the arrow 
came from the right and struck him just above the pistol belt 
on the left side. The arrow came quartering and went shallow 
until near the hip bone, when the penetration was deeper, strik- 
ing the bone and making a severe wound. The hardy ranger 
made no complaint, but at once drew the arrow and finished 
loading his gun, which he was engaged in when hit. N~o one 
knew he was wounded until the worst part of the fight was over. 
Lee Jackson .was killed at the first fire. Sam Lucky was shot 
through the body with a ball and was assisted from his horse 
by Ben Highsmith, who was himself soon after wounded with an 

The Indians, finally seeing they could not drive the rangers 


back, withdrew to the north end of the pass, and the rangers 
went back the other way, carrying their dead and wounded, and 
encamped at a waterhole near the south end of the pass. Here 
they buried the dead rangers and attended to those who were 
wounded until morning. The Indians remained at the north 
end of the pass and there buried their chief and killed all of 
their crippled horse's and those that belonged to the chief, 
whether hurt or not. The first settlers in this part of the coun- 
try will remember seeing these bones. The badly wounded and 
dead horses of the rangers were left near the south end. There 
were five rangers killed and six wounded. Mr. G-albreath does 
not remember their names, as he had not been in the company 
long enough to become as familiar with them as he did others 
later. Mr. Highsmith says Jackson was killed there. The 
wounded were Sam Lucky, Kit Ackland, James Dunn, Ben 
Highsmith, Tom Galbreath, and some others whose names can 
not now be recalled. Galbreath and Lucky were carried to San 
Antonio to have their wounds attended to. 

In the following year Captain Hays took fourteen men and 
went on a scout to the Nueces Canyon. Of these were Sergeant 
Kit Ackland, Mike Chevalier, Creed Taylor, Sam Cherry, Noah 
Cherry, Tom Galbreath, and an Irishman called Paddy. The 
others can not now be remembered. After a long trip out to 
the head of the river without seeing any fresh signs of Indians, 
Hays turned back down the canyon and camped one night, and 
next day traveled until about noon, when some one discovered a 
bee-tree, and the captain told the men to pull the bridles off, 
take their ropes down, and let their horses graze, and they would 
rest awhile there and get the honey. Noah Cherry secured a 
small ax that was in the luggage on a pack mule, and ascended 
the tree for the purpose of chopping into the honey without cut- 
ting the tree down. 

Now it happened that about this time a large band of Co- 
manches were coming down the canyon on a raid, and seeing the 
trail of the rangers they followed it, and were at this time close 
upon Hays and his men. The man in the tree, having a good 
view of the valley, saw the Indians coming and sang out, "Jeru- 
salem, captain, yonder comes a thousand Indians !" They were 
approaching rapidly on the trail and made a good deal of dust, 
hence the rather exaggerated statement of the ranger as to their 


number. Hays had sat clown and was watching Cherry chop. 
He had a listless, tired look on his face, but at the name of In- 
dians he sprang to his feet as quick as a cat and the whole ex- 
pression of his countenance changed, his eyes flashed, and he gave 
his orders quick and to the point; first to the man up the tree: 
"Come down from there, then, quick ! Men, put on your bridles ! 
Take up your ropes ! Be ready for them ! Be ready for them !" 
The rangers on this occasion were armed with Colt's five-shoot- 
ers, besides rifles and a brace of holster single-shot pistols. This 
made nine shots to the man. When the Comanches came in full 
view it seemed that the rangers could not sustain themselves, 
against such odds. Mr. Galbreath says that they seemed to be 
200 or more. It was characteristic of Jack Hays that he never 
ran from Indians and was never defeated by them. The In- 
dians came at a full charge, yelling loudly, and thinking no 
doubt that it would be an easy matter to run over and rout the 
small squad of white men who were drawn up around the tree 
and facing them. Some of the men began to raise their guns, 
and Hays said, "Now, boys, don't shoot too quick. Let them 
come closer. Hit something when you shoot and stand your 
ground. We can whip them ; there is no doubt about that." When 
the rangers fired the Indians were close and many fell from their 
horses, and several horses fell, so much so that quite a gap was 
made in their front, and the balance divided and ran to the 
right and left of the rangers, discharging arrows as they went. 
Captain Hays now sprang into his saddle and shouted, "After 
them, men ! Give them no chance to turn on us ! Crowd them ! 
Powder-burn them !" Never was a band of Indians more sur- 
prised than dt this charge. They expected the rangers to remain 
on the defensive, and to finally wear them out and exhaust their 
ammunition. The rangers ran close beside them and kept up a 
perfect fusilade with pistols. In vain the Comanches tried to 
turn their horses and make a stand, but such was the wild con- 
fusion of running horses, popping pistols, and yelling rangers, 
that they abandoned the idea of a rally and sought safety in 
flight. Some dropped their bows and shields in trying to dodge 
the flashing pistols. The pursuit lasted three miles, and many 
Indians were killed and wounded. Some of them kept the ran- 
gers from powder-burning them by the dangerous thrusts of 
their long lances. Conspicuous in the chase was Kit Ackland, 


who ran so close among the Indians trying to carry out the cap- 
tain's orders that he was lanced three times. He chased one In- 
dian on a blue mule, but it outran his horse. When the fight was 
over the rangers rode back, and Mr. Galbreath says he never saw 
as many dead Indians before or since. The Irishman, Paddy, 
said he saw a wounded Indian go in a certain thicket, and he 
was going in there after him. Captain Hays said: "If there 
is a wounded Indian in there you had better let him alone. If 
you go in where he is, he will kill you before you see him.' 7 
Paddy hesitated, but concluded to give the Indian a trial any- 
way. He said the Indian had his leg broken and was not able to 
do much, and he was not afraid of a crippled Indian, no way. 
Soon after disappearing from sight he was heard to make a noise 
or cry out as if in pain, and then all was still. Three or four 
rangers now dismounted and advanced cautiously in single file 
and soon perceived a slight rustling in the underbrush, and all 
fired towards the spot. A squall like a wildcat from the Indian 
told the tale that he was badly hit, and the four rangers went to 
the spot with pistols presented. The Indian was dying, having 
been hit by all four rifle balls. Sixteen feet from the Indian lay 
the dead body of the ranger with an arrow through his heart and 
body, the point coming through the skin on the opposite side. 
The Indian was a large fellow, and had strong arms. He was 
lying flat on the ground, almost covered up with leaves, and had 
all the advantage of the unfortunate ranger, who no doubt re- 
ceived the fatal arrow without seeing the Indian. Paddy was 
taken out of the thicket and buried, and Captain Hays returned 
to his camp on the Leona. 

Many years after this a friendly Delaware Indian named Bob 
saw the Comanche chief who led his warriors in this fight, and 
asked the Delaware who it was he fought on that occasion. Bob 
told him Jack Hays and his rangers. The chief shook his head 
and said he never wanted to fight him again ; that his men had a 
shot for every finger on the hand, and that he lost half of his 
warriors. They died, he said, for a hundred miles back towards 
Devil's Eiver. 

Mr. Galbreath can not locate this battleground, but says it 
was before they got out of the mountains. Mr. Galbreath also 
says that this was the first time the rangers used the five-shooters 


in an Indian fight, but some say the Pedernales battle was the 
place. It was, however, the first time this band of Indians ever 
had five-shooters used on them. 

When the time of enlistment of this company commanded by 
Hays expired, Mr. G-albreath enlisted in Gillette's company. 

During his service with Hays and other captains he remem- 
bers the following names of men who from time to time served 
in the same company with him : Kit Ackland, Shapley Woolfork, 
Joe Tivey, Mark Rapier, James Galbreath, Big Foot Wallace, 
Tom Buchanan, Coho Jones, Peter Poe, Mike Chevalier, James 
Dunn, Ad Gillespie, P. H. Bell, Jeff Bond, James Gocher, Wil- 
liam Powell, Leander Herrill, Ed Lofton, Bill Chism, Calvin 
Turner, James Roberts, Jack Johnson, Sam Holland, Dick Hil- 
burn, William Jett, — Spain, Charles Donoho, Tom McCannon, 
Ben McCulloch, Henry McCulloch, Sam Walker, Sam Lucky, 
George Neill, Ben Highsmith, Creed Taylor, Pipkin Taylor, Jo- 
si ah Taylor, James Taylor, Rufus Taylor, Andrew Sowell, John 
Sowell, Asa Sowell, Sam Cherry, Noah Cherry, John Carlin, 
Rufus Perry, John Williams, Joe Davis, Lee Jackson, Leo Huff- 
man, John Saddler, W^esley Deer, Nat Mangum, Stoke Holmes, 
Heck, Knox, Kaisey, and many others not now remembered. 

Gillette's company was stationed in this year, 1845, on the 
Seco, near D'Hanis, to defend the German settlement there. 
The first captain being promoted, Captain Warfield was put in 
command, with William Knox as first lieutenant, Kaisey second, 
and Lee third. While the company was stationed . here Lieu- 
tenant Knox went on a scout into Sabinal Canyon and had a 
fight with the Indians, in which Wesley Deer was killed and 
John Saddler was wounded. Eight Indians were killed. Mr. 
Galbreath was not on this scout, but told Wesley Deer in a jok- 
ing way that the Indians would kill him this trip. Deer was very 
young, and this was one reason the old ranger spoke to him in 
this way. 

From Seco the camp was moved to the Leona River, about 
thirty miles further west. The location was three miles below 
the present town of Uvalde, seven years before it was laid off. 
Soon after arriving here the captain sent five men to San An- 
tonio after supplies. Of these were Lee, Golsten, Heck, and 
Huffman. The other one can not be remembered. While in San 
Antonio a man named Ben Pettit and a negro man were there 


with corn from Poach Crook, which they sold to the government. 
The corn was sent out to the rangers' camp, and Pettit and his 
negro were employed to bring it out in their wagons. The ran- 
gers had three wagons containing other supplies. When the five 
wagons arrived at the crossing of the Sabinal River, where the 
Sunset Railroad now crosses it, Heck and Huffman went on 
ahead for the purpose of killing a deer. One mile west of the 
river they were ambushed by the Lipan Indians and Heck was 
killed. Huffman, not being hit by the volley that killed his 
companion, wheeled his horse and ran back toward the wagons. 
Fifty mounted Indians followed him, and spreading out tried to 
cut him off from the river. A desperate hard race now com- 
menced. The looee horse of the dead ranger followed close in 
the rear of Huffman. The Indians shot many arrows at long 
range, and finally stuck one in the rangers thigh. He pulled it 
out and used it for a switch on his horse, wearing it out to the 
feather. The wagons were at the river, and the men with them 
seeing the Indians running Huffman, made ready to fight them. 
The Lipans turned back when they saw the wagons, and the 
hard-pressed ranger arrived safely. All night the men stood 
guard. When the. Indians went back they picked up Huffman's 
hat and mutilated the body of Heck. After night came on one 
of the rangers named Lee volunteered to take chances and go to 
the ranger camp after help. He made it all right, and Captain 
Warfield sent thirteen men to their assistance. Of this number 
was Tom Galbreath. When the rangers got into the prairie be- 
tween the Blanco and Sabinal the grass was burning for many 
miles around. The Indians had fired it to cover their trail. 
It had burned over the body of the dead ranger, badly disfigur- 
ing it. The smoke was so dense it was some time before the ran- 
gers could find the body, but it was finally recovered and carried 
to the wagons at the river. It was near day, and the men had 
spent an anxious night. One of their comrades lay dead on the 
prairie, another one wounded, and a third in great danger try- 
ing to bring succor to them. Besides this, the grass was burning 
in every direction, and the whole country was lit up. When 
morning came the body of Heck was buried, and here is a strange 
story. His grave was already dug and had been for six months. 
This is the history of the grave : Six months previous to this 
time a party of surveyors, had camped there and one of their num- 


ber, becoming very sick, apparently died. He was laid out and 
his grave dug in a small haekberry grove near by. The tent 
where the body lay was closed up for the night, and the inter- 
ment of the dead man was to take place next morning. No one 
stayed inside the tent, but remained until morning just on the 
outside. When daylight came one of the men looked into the 
tent, and was almost scared out of his senses by seeing the sup- 
posed dead man standing on his feet and gazing about him like 
a man who had just waked up out of a sound sleep and did not 
know exactly where he was. The man who made the discovery 
turned and ran away, but a bolder fellow went in and asked him 
how he felt. "Very well," he said, "but very weak." He was 
then taken to San Antonio, and recovered. The grave had re- 
mained there open ever since, and in it Heck was buried. No 
doubt but he had ridden up and looked into this grave while on 

After the last sad rites to their comrade was performed the 
rangers guarded the wagons past what they thought was the 
danger line, and then went to hunt the trail of the Indians. 
They had tried to baffle pursuit by starting north, but had turned 
back to within half a mile of where they had killed Heck and 
then went south, burning the grass behind them. The rangers 
got on their trail all the same and came upon them that evening 
in the edge of the Leona bottom, on the east side of the river, 
ten miles below the present town of Uvalde. The rangers at 
once charged and the Indians ran, but stopped in the bottom and 
fired on them with guns. The Lipans numbered about forty and 
the white men thirteen. The latter fired when they charged, 
and were very close when the Indians fired on them. The rangers 
being scattered in the charge, the bullets aimed at them did not 
find many victims, but hit the trees quite lively. One gallant 
ranger, however, named Nat. Mangum, received a mortal wound 
from a large bullet. The rangers went back from the charge 
away from the bottom, dismounted, and tied their horses. Man- 
gum rode his horse back, and was then helped off and laid on a 
blanket under a tree. It was a drawn battle now. The Indians 
would not risk the fire of the rangers in the open ground, and 
the latter could not afford to charge their position with the force 
they had. Each fired as opportunity offered. The chief had 
buffalo horns on his head, and could occasionally be seen in the 


edge of the thicket with a gun in his hand, which he would fire 
quickly and then disappear again. The sergeant in command 
of the rangers finally told his men to reserve some loaded guns 
especially for that chief, and kill him if possible. The next 
time he appeared nearly all of the rangers fired at him, and he 

The wounded Mangum suffered a great deal, being shot 
through the bowels, and begged the boys to shoot him out of his 
misery. As he lay under the tree during the fight he called one 
of his particular friends to sit down by him and asked if he 
would do him a favor. Thinking he wanted to send some mes- 
sage home to loved ones, he promised. But no ; that was not it. 
He wanted his best friend to shoot him. The other ranger be- 
gan to cry, and said, "0 no; no. I can not; I can not/' 
Mangum looked straight at him, and said, "Remember, now, you 
promised to grant any favor I asked you. I can not get over 
this shot, and I am suffering death over and over again." His 
friend continued to weep and say, "I cannot/' "I'll give you 
my horse and saddle and pistol, and all the wages due me," 
continued the wounded ranger. "Take your pistol now, my 
friend, and do what I tell you, or give me mine." Mangum's 
belt and pistol had been taken off and laid aside. Of course 
no persuasion could induce the friend to comply. He leaned 
over him and almost bathed his face and forehead in tears. 

About this time another brave ranger named William Lowe 
came to them badly wounded with a bullet, but laughed and said, 
"I'll get over this shot all right." It was at this time that some 
one said, "Look, boys, there he is !" as the chief with the buffalo 
horns again came into view. A dozen rifles cracked at once 
and he was seen to fall. Not long after this the Indians were 
heard crossing the Leona River, and the battle was over. The 
rangers now entered the bottom lately occupied by the Indians 
and found plenty of blood, but the dead had been moved. Near 
where the chief was seen to fall was a pool of blood and a loaded 
gun, cocked. Heck's gun and hat were also found, and Huff- 
mann's hat. Some one making a close search along the bank of 
the river discovered the body of the chief in the water wrapped 
up in blankets, they being lashed close to his body with ropes. 
When it was taken out and unwrapped the horns were still on 
his head, and there were seven bullet holes in his breast. The 


wounded rangers were tenderly conveyed to camp that night, and 
Mangum died next day and was buried on the banks of the Leona, 
near Uvalde, and rocks piled over the grave. Lowe got well. ■ 

The next fight the rangers had was with the Comanches. The 
trail of this band was discovered at the foot of the mountains on 
the Frio Eiver. There were fifteen of the rangers together at the 
time, and the Indians numbered sixteen. The trail led south 
across an open country for some distance and the rangers gained 
rapidly on the Comanches, as they were riding very tired horses. 
They kept under cover as much as possible, riding in ravines 
which had bushes and prickly pears around them, whenever they 
could do so. When the rangers arrived at a dry little creek called 
Cibolo (buffalo), just above the Laredo road, they came upon the 
Indians, who were traveling in a ravine but hid from view. The 
rangers could hear their leggings scraping against the brush. 
For some distance they rode parallel with them, waiting for a 
good place to charge. The Indians could also be heard talking. 
Suddenly they left the ravine and rode out in open view, not 
more than thirty yards away, and were not aware of the presence 
of their white foes until fired on. A man named John Saddler 
fired the first shot, and an Indian fell from his horse. The 
others attempted to run back to cover, yelling and shooting at 
the rangers, who charged and cut them ' off from the ravine. 
One, however, seemed determined to go back into the ravine at 
all hazards. Tom Galbreath dismounted, and running to the 
edge of the thicket and gulley after the Indian had got into it, 
and getting a view of him, fired and killed him from his horse. 

xlfter the Indians had been cut off from the brush they tried 
to make their escape across the open country — open except scat- 
tered bunches of prickly pear (cactus) and catclaw bushes. 
Some of them were on mules and others on jaded horses, and all 
were killed, one here and one there as they were overtaken. None 
of them got more than half a mile from where the fight com- 
menced. One was riding a paint horse, and to him Mr. Gal- 
breath gave chase. The Indian galloped slow and the ranger 
soon came alongside of him, but kept about forty steps to one 
side until he could take aim and fire. One shot was sufficient, 
and the Comanche fell heavily to the ground. The Indians only 
shot with arrows, and did but little damage. They were more 
on the run than fight. One young ranger named Stoke Holmes, 


who rode a fast little pony, singled out an Indian and said he 
was going to rope him. While he was running and swinging his 
rope the pony attempted to jump a large bunch of prickly pears, 
but reared so high his rider lost his seat in the saddle and fell 
backwards into the terrible cactus. Some of his comrades, seeing 
the mishap, killed the Indian and then came to his rescue, as he 
was unable to extricate himself. His horse had galloped off, 
but was caught and brought back. The ranger was in a sad 
plight. His body had. thousands of pear thorns in it, and his 
clothing was pinned to him on all sides. He was almost in 
agonies with pain. The rangers stripped off all his clothing 
and extracted all the large thorns, but it was impossible to get 
out the thousands of needle-like small ones, but with a sharp 
knife they shaved them close to the skin, so the clothing would 
not irritate by rubbing against them. He was hardly able to 
ride for several days. 

When the time of enlistment had expired the rangers were or- 
dered back to their old camp on the Seco, and were there mus- 
tered out of the service. 

Early in 1846 Capt. Henry E. McCulloch raised a company 
of rangers and Mr. Galbreath joined them. Their station was at 
the head of the San Marcos River. The officers, besides the cap- 
tain, were First Lieutenant Story, his son Fred, second, and Asa 
J. L. Sowell orderly sergeant. The latter was father of the 

During this enlistment no important Indian battles were 
fought, and when the time was out Mr. Galbreath joined Capt. 
Sam Highsmith's company, which was stationed at Fredericks- 
burg, in Gillespie County. Kijah Highsmith, son of the cap- 
tain, was first lieutenant and George Gamble second. In three 
months this company was disbanded. 

About this time the war with Mexico had broken out, and 
Capt. Jack Hays was raising a regiment of rangers for service 
in Mexico. Many of the old rangers raised companies for the 
regiment. Among these were Ben McCulloch, Sam Walker, Ad. 
Gillespie, Kit Ackland, and Mike Chevalier. Mr. Galbreath 
joined the spy company of Ben McCulloch, and went through 
many stirring scenes during the war. Being always in advance 
of the main army, a spy company is exposed all the time to am- 
buscades, and fight many small battles, besides being in the gen- 


eral engagements. Mr. Galbreath was at the storming of Mon- 
terey and the battle of Buena Vista. 

After the war he served again as a ranger, and was stationed 
at San Lucas Springs, between Castroville and San Antonio. 
Soon after this all of the rangers were mustered out, seven com- 
panies being disbanded at San Antonio in one day. 

In 1848 Mr. Galbreath married Miss Xancy Jane Wiriing, and 
in 1852 settled on Chicon Creek. The next move was where he 
lives now, near Devine, in Medina County. He was still on 
the frontier, and had many more scraps with the Indians until 
they left, never more to return. 

In 1875, while living at this place, his son Isaac, a youth of 
17 years, was killed by Indians. He went out one morning to 
drive up the horses, and Mr. Galbreath heard the shots that 
killed him. He was not sure it was Indians until the horse his 
son rode came running back to the house. He at once armed 
and repaired to the spot, but too late to do any good except to 
bring the dead body of Isaac in. He was shot with firearms 
and one arrow. There were about fifteen of the Indians. They 
committed other depredations as they went on, but were not over- 
taken. Young Galbreath was buried in the Devine graveyard, 
one mile from town, and was the second person put there. Three 
others are also buried there who were killed by Indians. George 
Wheat, brother-in-law to Mr. Galbreath, was killed by Indians. 
His son Ira was for a long time sheriff of Edwards County. 

Mrs. Galbreath died in 1879, and in 1890 he married Miss 
Mary Shores, his present wife. 

Mr. Galbreath relates this rather humorous episode which oc- 
curred during the perilous frontier times. On one occasion 
when several men were out together, among whom was a Mr. 
Avant, a tolerably old man, and another named Woodward, they 
came upon a party of Indians, who sprang up out of the grass 
and commenced shooting at them. Mr. Avant's horse threw 
him, and he made an attempt to save himself on foot, not being 
able to get hold of his horse again. All the men ran away ex, 
cept Mr. Woodward, and he stayed with Mr. Avant and pointed 
his gun at the Indians when they came near, and they would 
stop and dodge, thereby giving the footman a chance to sprint 
ahead. This was done several times, and again the Indians 
came close, and Mr. Avant, who was nearly out of breath, said, 


"Aim your gun at them, Mr. Woodward ; aim your gun at them. 
I see it has a good effect."' Both made their escape. 

Mr. Galbreath was in the ranging service with Big Foot Wal- 
lace, and said he could stand more cold than any man he ever 
saw. He would scout all day in a cold norther without a coat, 
and then lie down at night on his saddle blanket without cover 
and sleep soundly all night if not disturbed. 

Mr. Galbreath has a good ranch and 300-acre farm. 




Came to Texas in 1837. 

John Coffee Hays, better known in Texas as Jack Hays, the 
famous ranger captain, was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, 
in 1818. He was named for General Coffee, who commanded 
a brigade in the army of General Jackson at the battle of New 
Orleans. He came to Texas in 1837, when but 19 years of age, 
and located at San Antonio. He was a surveyor by profession, 
and was employed to survey lands on the frontier. His long life 
on the frontier gave him a hardy constitution, and none were 
able to stand more hardships and endure more privations than 
he. His talent as a commander and leader of border men early 
developed, and he was soon among the chosen leaders of the pio- 
neers in southwest Texas. His reputation as a fighter arose so 
rapidly he was given the command of the frontier with the rank 
of major in 18^0. This was in part owing to his gallantry at 
the great Indian battle of Plum Creek, fought the same year, 
and which has been described elsewhere. If an account was 
given in detail of all his exploits and battles on the frontier it 
would make a book within itself. 

His two famous battles of Bandera Pass and in the Nueces 
Canyon have already been given, as also the part he took in the 
battle of Salado when San Antonio was captured by Wall. He 
fought one battle west of the Nueces with the Comanches and 
badly defeated them, and also one near the head of Seco and 
Sabinal. He was surrounded here for some time, and finally 
sent one of his men, who slipped out in the night and went to 
Seguin to notify Captain James H. Calahan, who commanded 
another company of rangers, to come to his assistance. The 
messenger rode day and night, as did also the rangers who came 
back, and the reinforcement soon arrived on the scene, but Hays 
and his men were gone. Signs of a fierce fight were there, and 
the dead bodies of sixteen Indians were found. Calahan took 
the trail and soon discovered that the Indians were in retreat, 
and that Hays and his men were following them. At the head 
waters of Sabinal Eiver rangers and Indians were overtaken. The 


Comanches were on a mountain and Hays and his men were in 
the valley, watching them. When Calahan and his men arrived 
an assault was made on the position of the Indians, and after 
some firing, in which one of Calahaifs men was wounded, the In- 
dians left the mountain and scattered in the roughs and the 
rangers returned, Hays to San Antonio and Calahan to Seguin. 

On another occasion Hays was close upon a band of Indians 
and located them by his scouts in a cedar brake. The rangers 
had eaten nothing all day, so hot was the pursuit, and the cap- 
tain now told them to dismount for a few minutes and partake 
of some cold bread and beef they had in their wallets, but by 
no means to raise a smoke. Hays always had a few Mexicans 
with him, as they were good guides and trailers, but on this oc- 
casion, in lighting their cigarettes after eating, they let a pile of 
leaves get afire, and soon smoke was curling above the tree tops. 
Hays was furious, and the Mexicans were badly scared and made 
frantic endeavors to stamp out the fire, he striking some of them 
with his quirt during the time. An order to mount was now 
given and a furious run made towards the Indian camp, which 
was a mile away. It was as Hays had anticipated. The In- 
dians saw the smoke and knew the rangers were on their trail, 
and had fled, leaving many things in camp, which were taken. 

One of the hardest fights Captain Hays had was on the Peder- 
nales in 1844. On this occasion he had gone out with fourteen 
men about eighty miles from San Antonio northwest in the Pe- 
dernales country, now within the limits of Gillespie County, for 
the purpose of ascertaining the position of the Indians and their 
probable location. 

On arriving near the river about fifteen Indians were dis- 
covered well mounted, and they seemed to want a fight. When 
the rangers advanced upon them, however, they retreated and 
endeavored to lead them towards a ridge of thick underbrush. 
Captain Hays was too well acquainted with the Indian character 
to be caught by their snares, for he suspected an ambush. It 
was hard to keep his boys from advancing to the attack, among 
whom was Ad. Gillespie, Sam \Yalker, and Mike Chevalier. 
Hays went around the thicket and posted his men on another 
ridge separated from their position by a deep ravine. This po- 
sition was occupied but a short time when the Indians discov- 
ered who he was, and knowing their man. gave up trying to catch 


him by stratagem and showed themselves to the number of sev- 
enty-five and challenged him to the combat. Hays accepted the 
challenge and signified to them that he would meet them, and 
immediately started down the hill with his men toward the In- 
dians, moving, however, very slowly, until reaching the bottom 
of the ravine, where he was hid from the view of the Comanches 
by the brow of the hill upon which they had formed. Then turn- 
ing at full speed down the ravine he turned the point of the 
ridge and came up in the rear of the Indians and charged them 
while they were watching for him to come up in front of their 
position. The first fire of the rangers with rifles threw them into 

The yells, warwhoops, and imprecations that filled the air were 
enough to blanch the cheeks of the bravest, but Hays and his men 
had heard such sounds before, and stood their ground unmoved. 
The Indians, seeing their superior force, soon rallied. Hays now 
told his men to draw their five-shooters to meet the charge that 
he saw was coming. In order to resist attack on all sides, as the 
Comanches were surrounding them, Hays formed his men in a 
circle fronting outwards, being still mounted on their horses, and 
for several minutes maintained that position without firing a 
shot, until the Indians almost came within throwing distance of 
their lances of them. Their aim was now sure when they fired, 
and nearly every shot took effect. Twenty-one Indians were 
killed here before they desisted from hurling themselves on the 
muzzles of the revolvers. When the Comanches fell back the 
rangers changed their ground and charged in turn. The fight 
lasted nearly an hour, each party charging and recharging in 
turn. By this time the rangers had exhausted the loads in their 
revolvers, and the chief was again rallying his warriors for one 
more desperate struggle. 

The number of the rangers was by this time reduced, some 
killed and others badly wounded, and the situation was critical. 
Captain Hays saw that their only chance was to kill the Indian 
chief, and asked of his men if any of them had a loaded rifle. 
Gillespie replied that he had. "Dismount, then/ 7 said the cap- 
tain, "and make sure work of that chief.*' 

The ranger addressed had been badly wounded — speared 
through the body — and was hardly able to sit his horse, but slip- 
ping to the ground took careful aim and fired, and the chief fell 




headlong from his horse. The Comanches now left the field, 
pursued by a portion of the men, and a complete victory was 
gained. When all was over on this battleground lay thirty dead 
Indians, and of the rangers two were killed and five wounded. 
Sam Walker was one of the wounded, and was also speared 
through the body. 

On another occasion Hays was on a scout with about twenty 
of his men near the head of the Pedernales at a place called then 
the "Enchanted Rock." It was of large, conical shape, with a 
depression at the apex something like the crater of an extinct 
volcano. A dozen or more men can lie in this place and make 
a strong defense against largely superior numbers, as the ascent 
is steep and rugged. 

Not far from the base of this hill, at the time of which we 
write, the rangers were attacked by a large force of Indians. 
When the fight commenced Captain Hays was some distance 
from his men, looking about, and attempted to return and was 
cut off and closely pursued by quite a number of warriors, and 
made his retreat to the top of the "Enchanted Rock." Here he 
entrenched himself, determined to make the best fight he could 


and, as the border men say, "sell out" as dearly as possible. The 
Indians who were in pursuit upon arriving near the summit set 
np a most hideous howl, and after surrounding the spot prepared 
for a charge on the position of the ranger captain. They were de- 
termined to get him at all hazards, for no doubt there were war- 
riors along who knew him. For some time as they would see the 
muzzle of the rifle come over the rim of the crater they would 
dodge back, knowing it w r as death to one to face it, and each 
thought that one might be him. Becoming bolder, however, it 
was necessary for Hays' to fire, and one fell at the rifle shot, and 
then the revolver went to work, and as they were close, each dis- 
charge from the five-shooter found a victim. In those days there 
were no six-shooters, but these were made soon after. The In- 
dians fell back before this fire, which gave Hays a chance to re- 
load. This was kept up for some time. The rangers heard the 
battle on the hill and knew it was their captain, and gradually 
fought their way to him. The Indians below were defeated, and 
those after Hays fled down on the opposite side when they saw 
the battle had gone against them in the valley and that the ran- 
gers had commenced the ascent of the hill of the "Enchanted 

Captain Hays was glad to see his boys, as the case had become 
desperate with him. The Indians, maddened at their loss, were 
drawing closer around him, becoming reckless of life, and would 
in the end have overpowered him. Five or six dead lay around 
the spot where Hays fought, and twice as many below. Three 
or four rangers were wounded but none killed. 

When the war of 1846 broke out with Mexico Captain Hays 
raised a regiment of Texas rangers and fought in nearly all of 
the desperate battles in Mexico, in wmich many of the regiment 
were killed, including Acl. Gillespie, who was captain of a com- 
pany, and Sam Walker, who was lieutenant-colonel of the regi- 
ment. After the war w r as over Colonel Hays went to California, 
and was elected sheriff of San Francisco County, and as a matter 
of course made a brave and efficient officer. He married a 
daughter of Major Calvert of Seguin, and was brother-in-law to 
John Twohig of San Antonio, and Colonel Thos. D. Johnson 
and Alfred Shelby of Seguin, these having married his wdfe's 

Colonel Hays had his last Indian fight in Nevada in 1860. At 


that time Virginia City was a mining town, and many Texans, 
Californians, and others had gathered there. The Piute Indians 
declared war against the whites and committed many depreda- 
tions^ among others massacred Major Ormsby and his men. 
There was at this time at the mines an old Texas ranger, Capt. 
Edward Storey, a man of great courage and very popular among 
the people. He had fought Indians in Texas under Colonel 
Hays and Gen. Henry E. McCulloch. Captain Storey at once 
raised a company, called the Virginia City Kines, and proceeded 
against the Indians. Col. Jack Hays heard of the war which 
his old comrade Captain Storey was engaged in, and came over 
from California with several companies to help him, and together 
they attacked the Indians at Pyramid Lake, about twenty-five 
miles from Virginia City. The Indians were about 1000 strong 
and w r ell armed, and flushed with their victory over Major Orms- 
by and his men. They had the advantage of position in the 
mountains and more than doubled the number of the whites. A 
complete victory was won by Hays and Storey, but at fearful 
loss, and among the slain was the brave Captain Storey. This 
was on the 2d of June, 1860. The dead captain was rolled up 
in a blanket and conveyed to Virginia City on a pack horse. 

Colonel Hays became very wealthy. He never made Texas 
his home again, but occasionally came on visits to see old friends, 
and relatives. He died at his home near Piedmont, Cal., in 1883. 

MRS. M. A. B INN ION. 337 


Came to Texas in 1838. 

Among the many interesting characters of Southwest Texas 
was Mrs. M. A. Binnion. While the writer was traveling, hunt- 
ing up the old settlers, and gathering information from them, 
he found Mrs. Binnion at the ranch of her son-in-law, Mr. A. J . 
Davenport, in Little Blanco Canyon. She was then very old and 
feeble, and on account of failing memory was not able to tell 
much of the many stirring events through which she has passed 
— of Indian alarms, massacres, and sleepless nights on the border 
long before the prairies were clotted with ranches, and when the 
beautiful canyons were only inhabited by bears, panthers, Mex- 
ican lions, and other vicious animals. 

Mrs. Binnion was born in Alabama, near Tuscaloosa, in 1818. 
She was the daughter of Benjamin Phillips, and came to Texas 
with her husband in 1838, first settling in Titus County. She- 
lived in Burnet County quite a number of years when that was a 
frontier, and Mr. Binnion was engaged in stock raising. He 
and the family came to Uvalde County in 1865. Their son Sam- 
uel was sent back to the old home in Burnet County to gather 
and bring the cattle to Uvalde County. That was the last the 
mother. and father saw of the son. He was killed by the Indians 
while engaged in gathering the cattle. The unfortunate young 
man was riding a mule at the time, and had no chance to make 
his escape. The Indians ran all around him and threw their 
ropes over his head and pulled him from his saddle to the 
ground, and then ran and dragged him across the prairie. 
While some were engaged in this others were following and 
throwing lances into his body. When life was extinct and they 
were satiated with their savage pastime, the ropes were taken 
off and the mangled body left. 

In 1866, when the Indians made a raid in Sabinal Canyon and 
killed Mrs. Bowlin and badly wounded Mrs. Kinchaloe in many 
places, Mrs. Binnion, who was a good doctor and really the only 
one in the settlement, was sent for. She at once mounted a horse 



and made a most remarkably quick ride to the scene, and re- 
mained fifteen clays by the bedside of the wounded woman, at- 
tending on her. and she recovered. 

In 1870 the Indians made a raid on the settlements and ap- 
peared at the Binnion ranch. Mr. Binnion was in bed sick, and 
could scarcely walk when up. The Indians remained off a dis- 
tance and watched the house a while, and then one of their num- 
ber came towards it. Mrs. Binnion now dressed herself in male 
attire, and getting a rifle sallied from the house to fight the In- 
dian who was approaching. The Comanche acted cowardly and 
retreated back to his companions. The Indians then rode off 
down the river toward the other settlement. Mrs. Binnion and 
her husband now became uneasy about their children, who had 
gone down to a neighbor's below, and taking their guns followed 
after on foot. Mr. Binnion being very weak, his wife carried 
both guns, and still having on a man's clothing. They soon dis- 
covered three Mexicans coming around a thicket, and at first 
glance supposing them to be Indians, sprang to one side and 
leveled their guns at tbem. Mrs. Binnion in the excitement of 
the moment failed to cock her gun, which likely saved the life 
of a Mexican, for she aimed at one and pulled the trigger try- 
ing to shoot. The Mexicans knew Mr. Binnion and called loudly 
to him not to shoot. They had not seen the Indians, but stayed 
with Mr. Binnion and his wife to help them fight. One of their 
sons made a narrow escape. He met the Indians, who chased 
him, but being on a good horse made his escape. They also ran 
a Mexican into the thicket, but failed to get him. At another 
time Mrs. Binnion and another lady kept off a band of Indians 
by arming themselves with long stalks of the soto plant and aim- 
ing them as if about to shoot wdien the Indians advanced. They 
dreaded the long rifles of the Texas pioneers and wiould retreat, 
not being near enough to detect the deception. In this way the 
two women who were alone and away from the ranch made their 
way safely back to it. This sketch is only a faint outline of what 
this brave heroine of the West passed through, but alas never to 
be told by her. 




In the earl}' pioneer days of southwest Texas Mitchell Putnam 
and another settler named Lockhart lived on the Guadalupe 
River below the town of Gonzales. They were industrious, 
thrifty men, and soon had good homes, and were also blessed 
with a family of nice, healthy boys and girls. Life ahead of 
them looked bright and cheerful, but, alas for human hopes and 
aspirations, how soon was their cup of sorrow to be filled to over- 
flowing and they compelled to drink to the bitter dregs. 

One bright day in the fall of 1838 Matilda Lockhart, James 
Putnam, and his two sisters, one older than he, went to the river 
bottom to gather pecans. For some time they picked up the 
nuts, which were in abundance, and their merry laugh continu- 
ally rang out through the forest. At last it was time to go home ; 
their vessels were full of the rich pecan nuts, and their exertions 
had given them a keen appetite for their dinner, the time for 
which had now long passed. The baskets, bonnets, and buckets 
were gathered up, and the merry group emerged from the bottom 
to the edge of the prairie. But what a sight now met the eyes 
of those merry ones ! The laughing voices were hushed, and the 
cheeks which but a moment before had glowed with health and 
gay spirits, now blanched and paled with terror. There, in a 
few rods of them, rode a band of wild, painted Comanche In- 
dians, the scourge of the Texas frontier. Escape was impossible. 
With a wild shout the Indians circled around them, and without 
dismounting reached from the saddle and secured the screaming 
victims, and holding them in front dashed away up the valley 
towards the wilds of the great West. 

When the children failed to come home at the proper time the 
parents became uneasy and a search was instituted in the pecan 
bottom, whither they knew the children had gone. Their ages 
ranged from six to thirteen years. Matilda Lockhart was the 
eldest and one of the Putnam girls was the youngest. Can pen 


describe the agony of those parents when they come to the spot 
where the children were captured? It can not. A bonnet here; 
a bonnet there ; an overturned bncket or basket and pecans -scat- 
tered promiscuously about. A short . distance out in the open 
ground lay little Jimmy's hat. The ground was torn up by horse 
tracks, and too well these pioneers knew what had become of their 
loved ones. No time was to be lost. They rushed back and 
alarmed a few neighbors, who were soon on the trail of the daring 
red men. Lockhart was furious, vowed vengeance of the most 
direful nature, and galloped madly on the trail. Putnam was 
more composed and wanted to be cautious, but he was not lack- 
ing in courage, for he fought at San Jacinto in Captain Heard's 
company, and was one among the foremost in that terrible 
charge. Among the few men who followed Putnam and Lock- 
hart on the trail of the Indians was Andrew J. So-well, Sr., uncle 
of the writer. 

The trail led up the Guadalupe Eiver and was hard to keep, as 
the country became rougher towards the foot of the mountains. 
The last place that any signs of the Indians could be seen was at 
the mouth of the Comal Eiver on a sandbar. Here the Indians 
had halted, and the tracks of the children could be seen in the 
loose soil. This place is where the German city of New Braunf els 
now is. Here the Indians entered the mountains and the pursuit 
had to be abandoned, as the force of the settlers did not justify 
further advance into the stronghold of the savages. They re- 
turned, but only to get a larger force, and this time penetrated 
the mountains far west of the Comal into the head waters of the 
Guadalupe, now covered by Kerr County. Here, in a secluded 
valley, the scouts discovered a large Indian encampment, and 
that night a daring settler penetrated the Indian village and 
found out the captive children were there. When the faithful 
spy came back and reported, Lockhart was for an immediate ad- 
vance, and it was difficult for his friends and neighbors to re- 
strain him until some plan of action could be agred upon. After 
some deliberations the plan was to assault the Indian camp at 
daybreak, as soon as it was light enough for the men to see how to 
shoot. Lockhart knew no fear, and when the time came led the 
advance. The loud yell of an Indian announced the fact that the 
white men were discovered. The time for battle had come, and 
the settlers made a rush, intending to fight their way to the cen- 


ter of the camp where the children were. The white men were 
greatly outnumbered, but fought with desperation almost 
amounting to madness or frenzy. Lockhart led with clubbed 
rifle trying to fight his way with physical force to his children. 
Putnam was beside him. The settlers soon saw that the conflict 
was going against them. Lockhart was wounded in several 
places, covered with blood, and getting weak. There seemed to 
be no end to the forces of the Indians, fresh swarms of them con- 
tinually coming into the battle from the village, only the out- 
skirts of which the white men had reached. Never had such a 
noise been heard in that valley before. Loud yells rent the air, 
tomahawks glanced against rifle barrels, and whizzing missiles 
flew on every side. The settlers could not sustain themselves ; the 
contest was too unequal; valor must to numbers yield. They 
slowly retreated, fighting as they went, and carrying their dead 
and wounded comrades with them. Lockhart was loth to give 
up the fight, but weak, wounded, and bleeding, he allowed his 
friends to carry him away, seeing all of his hopes of recovering 
his daughter and the children of his neighbor fade away. After 
getting clear of the Indians the dead, five or six in number, were 
buried and the wounded carried back down the valley of the 

In 1840 a treaty was held with the Comanches in San Antonio, 
in which Matilda Lockhart was recovered, but the Indians failed 
to bring in other prisoners as they had promised, and the council 
wound up in a fight in which many of the Indians were killed. 

James Putnam after several years' captivity was finally 
through treaties recovered, but his eldest sister by this time had 
become the wife of a chief and would not leave, saying that so- 
ciety would not receive her among white people and she would 
have to spend the balance of her life as an Indian. The other 
sister had been carried away among a different band of the tribe. 

x\bout thirty years after the capture of the children a gentle- 
man named Chenault, who had been an Indian agent, bought a 
middle-aged white woman during that time and carried her to 
his home in Missouri. Afterwards he moved to Gonzales, Texas, 
and brought her along as a member of his family. She was so 
young when captured by the Indians that she could not remember 
her name or where she was taken from by them. When, how- 
ever, she saw the Guadalupe valley in the region of Gonzales she 


had a dim recollection of seeing the country before, and thus ex- 
pressed herself. It was now believed that it was the. youngest 
girl of the Putnam children. James Putnam, who lived up the 
river fifteen miles above the town of Gonzales, was sent for to see 
if he could by any means ascertain if this was his sister. When 
he came the fact was established beyond a doubt that it was his 
sister, by a scar caused by a burn on one of her arms. 

How strange that she should be brought back almost to the 
very spot where she was captured thirty years before, and there 
spend the balance of her days. The writer was well acquainted 
with James Putnam, and was at his house many times. He mar- 
ried the widow Nash, and lived on Nash's Creek near the con- 
fluence with the Guadalupe. He said the Indians carried him 
all over Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Often 
when he had been left with the squaws and children on some high 
mountain he could see the warriors fighting with immigrants or 
Santa Fe traders in the valley below. If they were successful in 
the fight they came back gleeful and had scalp dances ; but if they 
were defeated, especially with much loss, they beat the prisoners 
and otherwise maltreated them. He saw many bloody reeking 
scalps brought in by them of men, women, and children. 

Mr. Putnam died near the line of Hays and Travis counties 
several years after the civil war. His stepdaughter, Louise Nash, 
married Granville Nicholson, but she died soon after. Mr. Nich- 
olson now lives on the Verde Creek, in Kerr County. 

REV. E. A. BRIGGS. 343 


Came to Texas in 1841. 

One of the old-time frontiersmen, rangers, and preachers is 
Rev. E. A. Briggs, who at this writing lives near Seglar post- 
office, near the line of Bexar and Atascosa counties. He was born 
in Amherst, Mass., in 1819, and came to Texas in 1841. His 
ancestors were in the war of the revolution, and among them 
were some noted divines and scholars. Mr. Briggs upon first 
arriving in Texas went to Houston, where he had an uncle, T. P. 
Andrews, minister to Europe from the Republic of Texas. In 
1842 Mr. Briggs was teaching school at Richmond, Fort Bend 
County, when the news come of the Vasquez raid. There was a 
good deal of excitement in the country in regard to this invasion 
of the Mexicans, and a company was at once raised in and around 
Richmond to go and fight the Mexicans who had captured San 
Antonio. The school of Mr. Briggs was composed chiefly of 
young men, and the majority of them joined the company. Their 
teacher said, "Well, boys, if you are all going to the war I had as 
well go, too,*' and he also joined the volunteer company. 

These men lived so far from the scene of hostilities that when 
they arrived at San Antonio the Avar scare was over. General 
Vasquez and his men had gone back to Mexico after holding the 
city only a few clays. This raid was nothing more than a plun- 
dering expedition, the Mexicans only holding the town long 
enough to rob it. Here Mr. Briggs first saw Jack Hays, 
the famous Texas ranger, and talked with him. 

While the settlers were moving west of San Antonio Mr. 
Briggs was commissioned to raise men for the protection of a 
German colony which was settling at Quihi in 1846. The war 
with Mexico, however, broke out at this time, and the rangers 
were sent to Mexico to assist General Taylor. Mr. Briggs went 
out under Maj. Sam Highsmith. Out near the Rio Grande, on 
this side of the river, the rangers come upon a lot of Mexicans 
who had been attacked and whipped out by the Indians and some 
of them killed. They had been in camp catching mustangs, and 
when they were driven out came to the rangers for protection, 


who at this time were passing near on their way to Mexico. They 
had lost all of their provisions and the rangers were also out, but 
all went on together. When the party went into camp some of 
the rangers were complaining of being hungry, whereupon one 
of the Mexican women who was with the party of mustang 
catchers went to the chaparral and soon returned with her apron 
full of mesquite beans and prickly pear apples, and said, "No 
starve ; plenty to eat." Mr. Briggs said, "How long can a man 
live on such grub as that ?" One of the Mexican men said, "Live 
on pear all right alone; mix pear and beans, get fat;" and con- 
tinuing, said, "A man should not want anything better to eat 
than that." 

The Mexicans were protected across the river and the rangers 
went on to Taylor's army, but arrived too late for the battle of 
Buena Vista, which had been fought and won. Some of the 
rangers were sent back to protect the Texas frontier, and Mr. 
Briggs came with them. There were a great many rangers in 
Mexico under Hays and Walker. They remained and partici- 
pated in many battles. Colonel Walker was killed, as was one of 
Hays' captains, Ad Gillespie. Big Foot Wallace was in this ex- 
pedition. But a few years before he had been one of the prisoners 
after the disastrous battle of Mier (Meer), when they had to 
draw beans for their lives. 

Mr. Briggs was altogether three years in the Texas service, 
part of the time in Captain Cady's company, stationed at Austin 
to keep the Indians and buffalo out of town. 

On one scout the rangers, only a few in number, were sent out 
to take some observations in regard to a body of Indians that was 
over on Little Eiver. These Indians were supposed to be friendly 
at the time, but the people were suspicious of them and wished to 
keep a watch on their movements. The rangers camped on the 
same river near the Indians fifty miles from Austin, but did not 
know of their presence until attracted by the smoke of their camp 
fires, and even then supposed it was grass burning. Next morn- 
ing the Indians also discovered the rangers, and two young fel- 
lows come out of the timber across the prairie towards them. 
They made many circles around the rangers lying low on their 
horses to see if they were going to shoot. They finally straight- 
ened up and came to them when they saw no demonstrations were 
made towards them. They were fierce, devilish-looking rascals, 

REV. E. A. BRIGGS. 345 

and demanded of the rangers what they were doing there. They 
thought discretion the hetter part of valor on this occasion, and 
replied, "Buffalo hunting." One who could speak a little Eng- 
lish said, "Maby so you lie." John Herral, who was in com- 
mand, said, "Boys, that's hard to take, but we will have to stand 
it. If we kill these we will never get away from the balance in 
camp/"' The whole band numbered about 500. The two young 
bucks galloped back to their camp and the rangers saddled up and 
went back to Austin. . Of this party, besides Mr. Briggs, was 
William Winin, who has a brother Edward who lives near the 
Bexar postoffice, in Atascosa County. 

During the civil war Mr. Briggs sold goods in San Antonio 
with Pancost. The firm name was Ward, Pancost & Co. Mr. 
Briggs was a member of the firm, the largest at that time in San 
Antonio. The goods were sold in the Jones building, southeast 
corner of the plaza. They had extensive stables where the new 
courthouse now stands. When the business broke up considerable 
loss was experienced, and Mr. Briggs moved out of town and 
settled where he now resides, twenty-two miles south of San An- 
tonio, near a noted place called Black Hill. Two young Ger- 
mans were killed near there after he settled, but he does not re- 
member their names. (See account of this elsewhere.) 

He has been in the Baptist ministry now more than twenty 
years. It was almost a necessity, he said, that he became a 
preacher out in this frontier country. A frontier preacher named 
L. S. Cox came and organized a little Baptist church and Mr. 
Briggs helped him to conduct the services, and finally the people 
prevailed on him to preach for them. He was ordained, and has 
been doing the best he could ever since. He has been a member 
of the Baptist church since he was 16 years of age, and has spent 
all of his life in a new country in the woods and along the 
border. He has eight grown sons, four married, one of whom 
has since died — Pearl, who married Miss Cordelia Tinsley. He 
kept the Segler store and postoffice near the residence of the Eev. 
Briggs until a short time before his death. This postoffice was 
named after James Segler, an old Texas ranger who lives near, 
and with whom the writer served in the Wichita campaign in 
1870-71. Eev. Briggs has one son, Bevy, who is also in the Bap- 
tist ministry. 




Came to Texas in 1845. 

Among the first settlers of Quihi, in Castro's colony, and who 
still survives, is Mr. Rudolph Charobiny, now living about two 
miles from the Quihi store south on Quihi Creek. 

Mr. Charobiny was born in Zips Comitat, Hungary, in Janu- 
ary, 1817, and set sail from Havre. France, in September, 1845, 
for Texas, as part of Castro's colony. He came over in the ship 
Deaucalion, which was an American vessel and commanded by 
an American captain. They were eight weeks on the ocean and 
had a very good trip, without incident except one fire on ship- 
board, which originated in the kitchen, but was soon extinguished 
without much damage being done. The Deaucalion landed at 
Xew Orleans and the passengers got aboard the ship Galveston, 
bound for the city of Galveston, Texas, at which place they 
landed in November. From Galveston Mr. Charobiny and an- 
other young man went on board a steamboat and came up Buffalo 
Bayou to Houston. It was very cold and the two young immi- 
grants got near the boiler to warm themselves. Now at this time 
Gen. Sam Houston was on board, and noticing the two young fel- 
lows warming themselves at the boiler, took one by each arm and 
said, "Come, I will warm you up," and leading them into the 
saloon treated them to a drink of whisky. The general had some 
fine horses on the boat which he was carrying up the country. 

The boys stayed in Houston fourteen clays, and in the mean- 
time became acquainted with Dr. Acke, who purchased some 
drugs with the intention of coming west to practice medicine. 
Mr. Charobiny and two other young men named Korn hired a 
man named Alexander to bring them to San Antonio, and they 
and Dr. Acke journeyed together. The young immigrants in- 
tended to join Castro's colony and go to farming. One of the 
young men, Louis Korn, lives at Kline in Uvalde County at this 
time, at a very advanced age. The trip from Houston to San 


Antonio was with ox teams and very slow and tedious. It rained 
a great deal; creeks were up and they had to watch constantly 
for Indians. One of the colonists had already been killed by 
them while en route from Port Lavaca to San Antonio. The 
young men had to unload the wagon many times so that the team 
could pull out of bogholes. They arrived in San Antonio in 
April, 1846, and at Castroville in May of that year. Mr. Charo- 
biny lived six months in the Eepublic of Texas before annexa- 
tion. Henry Castro was planting colonies still further west on 
his grant of land, and Mr. Charobiny concluded to settle at 
Quihi, ten miles west of Castroville. The town of Quihi (pro- 
nounced Qeehe) being laid off, one lot and twenty acres of land 
was donated by James Brown, Castro's agent, to the settlers. 
This was within the town limits. Single men received 320 acres 
and married men 640 outside of the town. Mr. Charobiny re- 
ceived his 320 acres but did not at once settle, from the fact that 
about this time he joined a company of Texas rangers, com- 
manded by Capt. John Conner. Dr. Acke, who came up with 
them from Houston, was also a member of the company as sur- 
geon and physician. He did not, however, serve long in this 
capacity, from the fact that he was killed in a difficulty at Castro- 
ville by a ranger. The company scouted for Indians about two 
months, and then, the war breaking out between the United 
States and Mexico, Mr. Charobiny and other rangers enlisted 
in Bell's regiment of mounted riflemen to aid General Taylor, 
who had crossed the Eio Grande with an invading army. Texas 
at this time had been annexed to the United States, and a dis- 
pute over her boundary brought on the war. 

Captain Conner commanded a company in Bell's regiment, 
and it was with him as captain thatJMr. Charobiny served in 
the Mexican war. The regiment joined General Taylor at Buena 
Vista, but too late for the battle there, which had been fought 
and won. The enlistment was for twelve months, and the time 
was served out in Mexico. They then returned to Texas and were 
disbanded at San Antonio. Mr. Charobiny did a great deal of 
scouting around Monterey while in service in Mexico to keep the 
Mexicans back from General Taylor's headquarters. The rifle- 
men under Jeff Davis aided in this scouting. 

After being disbanded Mr. Charobiny came back to Quihi and 


settled on his headright on Quihi Creek, and commenced farm- 
ing and stock raising. Grass and water were plentiful, with no 
brush then, but open, lovely valleys. Game and wild honey were 
in abundance and living cheap. The seasons were good and 
splendid crops made, and the hardy pioneers began to enjoy the 
fruits of their labor and sacrifices. 

In November, 1847, Mr. Charobiny married Miss Francisco 
Meyer, and in three months after a band of Kickapoo and Lipan 
Indians came through on a raid and robbed the house in Mr. 
Charobimrs absence, who was out on a cow-hunt, and carried off 
his wife a captive. The same band killed her brother, Mr. Bias 
Meyer, at his house before they came to the Charobiny ranch. 
After taking and destroying everything they could, the Indians 
placed Mrs. Charobiny on. a horse and started up towards the 
Quihi settlement north, about two miles distant. After keeping 
this course a short while the Indians bore to the left, going a 
northwest course, and left the settlement to the right. The cap- 
tive woman had it in her mind to escape if possible, and thought 
she would try even if killed by them for so doing, dreading cap- 
tivity among these savages more than death. So when the party 
arrived at a pecan grove Mrs. Charobiny sprang from the pony 
and fled, followed by several Indians, who shot arrows at her and 
succeeded in wounding her badly in two places, so much so that 
she fell and was unable to rise. The Indians, thinking she was 
dead and fearing pursuit, rode back and continued their course, 
without getting off their horses to scalp her or see if she was 
dead. "When Mr. Charobiny came home and found his place torn 
up and his wife gone he knew it was Indians, and at once ran his 
horse to the settlement, gave the alarm, and raised men to follow 
them, and also sent a runner to the ranger camp on the Seco to 
notify them of the raid. In the meantime Mrs. Charobiny re- 
covered sufficiently to drag herself to the settlement and have 
the arrows extracted, and by careful nursing finally recovered. 
The Indians were not overtaken. Major Neighbors, Indian 
agent, who was then in San Antonio, was also notified of the 
raid. When Henry Castro heard of this misfortune of the Charo- 
biny family he donated a house and lot in town for them to live 
in. Castro did all he could to aid his colonists while they were 
contending with the savages and subduing the wilderness. 


The following is a list of the first settlers at Quihi, as given to 
the writer by Mr. Charobiny : Baptiste Schmidt, John Rieclen, 
Amb. Reitzer, Jac. Ribf, Bias Meyer, K. Bonekamp, H. Gersting, 
H. Wilpert, H. Gerties, Jans Sievers, B. Bracks, — Bickmann, 
F. Baner, — Boinkhoff, — Opus, — Deuters, John Toucher, H. 
Schneider, — Rensing, — Gasper, — Eisenhauer, Louis Korn, 
and Dr. Acke. 

Mr. Charobiny draws a pension as a Mexican war veteran, and 
has lived under five flags. Born under the Hungarian, then un- 
der the Republic of Texas, then under the Lone Star, then the 
Confederate, and also the United States stars and stripes. 

He holds commissions as justice of the peace of precinct No. 
2, Medina County, signed by three governors of Texas. 

The first was by P. H. Bell (his old colonel in the Mexican 
war), dated on the 6th day of September, 1851. This document 
winds up thus : "In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my 
hand and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed, at the 
city of Austin, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and fifty-one, and in the year of the independence of the 
United States of America the seventy-sixth, and of Texas the 

The second commission was signed by Gov. H. R. Runnels, 9th 
day of July, 1859, and twenty-fourth year of Texas independ- 

The third was signed by Gov. Sam Houston, 12th day of No- 
vember, 1860, and twenty-fourth year of Texas independence. 

Mr. Charobiny's pension certificate is No. 14,600, and was is- 
sued on the 6th of November, 189-1. It states that Rudolph 
Charobiny was a private in Bell's regiment of volunteer mounted 

Mr. Charobiny still resides on his headright grant of land do- 
nated to him over fifty years ago. His house is on a high eleva- 
tion on the east bank of Quihi Creek, and commands a fine view 
of the surrounding country and the range of mountains to the 
north. He selected this place so that he could have a view of the 
mountains, which reminded him of his native land. When the 
writer visited him in 1897 he was then 80 years of age, and was 
living quietly and pleasantly with his wife and unmarried son, 
Judge M. Charobiny. The good lady was afflicted with rheum- 


atism which almost bent her body double, and it was with great 
difficulty that she could get about. A great change has come over 
her since that trying day when, in the hands of painted savages, 
she bounded from her horse and ran almost with the fleetness of 
a deer to make her escape from them. May these good people live 
long yet to enjoy the evening of life and rest from their labors. 


E. D. WESTFALL. 353 


Came to Texas in 1845. 

Edward Dixon Westfall was born in Knox County, Indiana, 
on the 22d day of December, 1820. His father, Abraham, was 
a Virginian by birth, but went to Indiana with his parents when 
quite young. His grandfather, Isaac, was a surveyor, and fol- 
lowed that profession for several years in the new State. When 
the Indian war broke out and General Harrison fought the battle 
of Tippecanoe young Abraham wanted to go with the soldiers and 
take part in the battle, but his father made him stay at home and 
went himself. 

In 18-11 Abraham Westfall moved with his family to Jasper 
County, Illinois. 

In 18-13 Edward Dixon left Illinois and came over into Mis- 
souri, but being of a roving disposition soon moved on, and ar- 
rived in Hopkins County, Texas, in 1845. In the following year 
he came on to San Antonio. 

By this time the Mexican war had broken out and he joined 
the company of Capt. John Conner, Bell's regiment of mounted 
riflemen. The lieutenants in the company were — Jett and — 
Patterson. Col. P. H. Bell, who commanded the regiment, was 
afterwards Governor of Texas. As to the service of Mr. Westfall 
in Mexico, suffice it to say he made a brave and gallant soldier, 
never shirking duty or clanger at any time. 

After the war was over the regiment returned to Texas and was 
discharged at San Antonio. 

Mr. Westfall, although educated and a well-informed man, 
had a natural love for the solitude and romance of the wild 
woods, and like his erstwhile boon companion, Big Foot Wallace, 
delighted to roam over a new country, shoot game, and camp out. 
At this time no country afforded a more inviting field for a man 
of that turn than Texas, and he soon cut loose from the com- 
panionship and habitation of civilized man and built a cabin on 
the banks of the Leona Eiver, in the dense solitude of the great 
southwest, distant more than 100 miles from San Antonio. The 



only settlement then west of San Antonio was the colon}' of 
Henry Castro, and he was far in advance of them. Soon after 
Westfall settled on the Leona, Fort Inge was built on the same 
stream about thirty miles above. This induced others to come, 
and in a few years a settlement was made at the present town of 
Uvalde, four miles above the fort. This was about 1852. 

Westfall soon became familiar with the surrounding country 
and the ways and customs of the Indians, who then held sway in 
all this vast country. He became a noted man on the frontier as 
Indian fighter, guide, and trailer for soldiers, rangers, and set- 
tlers. Hardly an expedition went out without him or the two 
other famous guides in the west, Big Foot Wallace and Henry 
Robinson, being along. They looked to either of these three 
men to pilot them through mountains, canyons, and cedar brakes, 
or the devious windings through chaparral and prickly pear. 

Just before Fort Inge was built the Lipan Indians came down 
from the mountains and raided the country east in the vicinity 
of where Big Foot Wallace lived, and carried off some of his horse 
stock and others of the settlement. Wallace waited until the In- 
dians thought no one was going to follow them, as he conjectured, 
and then came after Westfall. These two hardy leaders came 
back to the Wallace ranch, and gathering about thirty men went 
on a hunt for the Lipans, who were found in camp at a place now 
called the Frio waterhole, on the divide at the head draws of the 
Frio River. A battle ensued in which ten of the Indians were 
killed, and about 200 mules and horses taken which had been 
carried off from the settlements. The Indians were completely 
surprised and made a poor fight, none of the settlers being killed. 
Wallace was riding a fine mare, and she fell with him just as they 
were charging into the Indian camp, and he went over her head 
hut lit on his feet. Wallace killed one Indian with the only shot 
he got with his rifle. He had a flintlock, and the flint in the 
holder burst. One old squaw and a daughter of the chief were 
left in camp. The old squaw had nails on her fingers an inch 
long. She tried to scratch Wallace in the eyes when he stooped 
to look in her face after the fight. Some one wanted to shoot 
her, but Big Foot prevented them. 

Westfall and Wallace were conspicuous figures in the fight. 
Wallace had black curly hair, dark eyes, 6 feet 2 inches in height, 
and weighed 2-10 pounds. Westfall had nut-brown hair, blue 

E. D. WESTFALL. 355 

eves, 6 feet 3} inches in height, and weighed 190 pounds. From 
the battleground it was a. long, tedious route over the rough coun- 
try, without roads, to drive the horses back to the settlements, 
but it was finally accomplished, and Westfall, bidding farewell to 
his friends, went back to his ranch. 

As the country began to settle stock was brought in, and West- 
fall, having located a considerable tract of land and having 
plenty free grass and water, also commenced raising stock. To 
do this successfully he needed neighbors for mutual protection 
for stock, especially horses, as they drew raiding bands of In- 
dians around a ranch. Having this in mind, he went to San An- 
tonio and made an offer to anyone who wished to come that he 
would give each 100 acres of land. Several accepted and went, 
but the majority soon tired of frontier life and went back. Two, 
however, remained — James Hammock and a man named Blanch- 
ard. They opened up a farm and lived in the house with West- 
fall. In 1850 they planted a crop of corn. There was no pro- 
visions to be had except wild meat, and deer at this season of the 
year were poor. Thinking this was not substantial enough to 
make a crop on. Hammock got Blanchard and another man who 
was there to go with pack mules to San Antonio and bring back 
some bacon, flour, and salt, and he would cultivate the crop. 
Three months passed away, and nothing was seen or heard of the 
two grub-hunters. Hammock made the crop, living on deer 
meat, and as farmers say, "laid it by." Westfall, who took all 
of these things philosophically and never complained at any- 
thing, now proposed to Hammock that they take a hunt to the 
Espantosa Lake and get a supply of venison and honey. This 
was very agreeable to the despondent farmer, who had com- 
plained a great deal and would have said hard things about his 
long-absent partner if he had been certain he was not killed by 

They arrived at the lake all right and found everything to 
their hands — fat deer and plenty of wild honey. Hammock was 
in high spirits and enjoyed himself. He had made a crop on poor 
venison without salt, and said now he did not care if they never 
come back from San Antonio. Soon after the return to the 
ranch, however, their absent friends also, arrived. They had a 
tale of woe to tell of incessant rains, high water in creeks and 
rivers, which caused manv delavs. All they returned with was 


a little bacon and coffee. The flour and salt had all been spoiled 
by the rain. 

Long and impatiently they now waited for the corn to get hard 
enough to grit or grind. When the shucks began to dry they 
gathered some, and by exposing it to the hot sun soon had it dry 
enough to shell and grind on a steel mill which Westfall had. 
Some was ground that looked sufficient for four men to eat at 
one meal, but Jim Hammock said grind some more; that he 
wanted a good bait while he was at it. When the corndodgers 
were cooked and put on the table the men were mistaken in how 
much they could eat. There was plenty left. They had done 
without bread so long it did not taste natural, and they soon got 
enough of it. 

Westfall now proposed to take another hunt with Hammock. 
Jim, however, objected this time, saying it would turn out dis- 
astrously. He was always predicting dire calamities, and said 
he had been warned not to go on this trip. Westfall laughed at 
these things, and said he thought it was a fine time to go. Ham- 
mock finally, with a long and sad face, began to get ready and 
said he would go and risk it. They intended to stop this time on 
the Nueces River, not quite so far out as before, and where there 
was also plenty of honey. Deer were everywhere. On the way 
out they stopped to noon in a shady elm grove, not far from a 
lake. Hammock was to get dinner, while Westfall went to kill 

a deer for the purpose of casing the skin to put the honey in. No 
sooner had Jim raised a smoke than it attracted a large band of 
Indians passing, who at once came and attacked him. Hammock 
saw them in time to make a run and fired at them as he went. 
At the lake he threw his rifle down and sprang in, with the In- 
dians in pursuit, yelling and shooting at him. He had no time 
to mount a horse, as they were both staked out. By diving al- 
most continually as he swam he avoided the arrows which cut 
the water around him, and arrived safely on the opposite bank. 
The Indians did not attempt to follow him, but went back to 
plunder the camp. He continued his flight through the brush for 
some distance until he got out of the valley and ascended rising 
ground. Then he looked back to see if the Indians were follow- 
ing. He was very uneasy about Westfall, and what was his con- 
sternation now to see his friend running at full speed almost into 
the Indians to succor him, thinking he was being killed by the 

E. D. WESTFALL. 357 

Indians in camp. The distance was too great for his voice to 
reach him in assurance of his safety, and with a heavy heart he 
sped on, not wanting to see the horrible sight of his noble com- 
panion butchered. His purpose was to get to the ranch some- 
how, and get help and come back after his body. 

Westfall was a quarter of a mile or more from camp when he 
heard the rifle shot, but at first supposed Jim had shot a deer or 
turkey. He had stopped for an instant and was about to resume 
his walk when the loud yelling of Indians suddenly burst upon 
his hearing. "Indians!" he exclaimed. "My God, they will kill 
Jim ; I must go to him," and wheeling with his gun in his right 
hand he sped back towards camp. He ran about 600 yards be- 
fore stopping, and was getting somewhat winded when he ap- 
proached the camp. The grove was literally swarming with 
Indians, but he could nowhere see his friend. While stopped in 
plain view getting his wind back the Indians discovered him, 
and they came yelling in crowds, on foot. They were coming in 
on a raid and had no horses. Westfall was willing to risk his life 
to save his friend, but not to throw it away if it was too late to 
help him. He now yelled and called the name of his companion, 
but getting no response, and thinking and almost knowing it was 
all over with him, turned and ran, followed by a flight of arrows 
and the Indians who were shooting them. There was an open 
flat around the grove of several hundred yards in extent, and 
across this he had to run to cover. The Indians saw he was fast, 
and sent one of their number who was on a mule to cut him off 
from the chaparral. Westfall watched him, intending to kill 
him if he came too close or was about to run around him, but 
he beat the mule to the brush too far to talk about. He also left 
the foot ones far in the rear. Almost exhausted, he made his way 
to about the center of the thicket and lay down. Besides the load 
in the rifle he had a large single-shot pistol. He knew Indian 
nature well — that they dreaded a concealed foe. Here he was, 
besieged by the whole band, it seemed from the noise they made, 
until night. They whooped and yelled, beat the brush, and shot 
arrows into it. At times they would come part of the way in, 
making the brush rattle as much as possible, like they were going 
to charge over the spot where he was, hoping he would get scared 
and run out. He stood all this, however, and kept his rifle ready, 
knowing if they did come he would get one or two, and he had 


just as soon be killed in the brush as out in open ground. This 
was not the first time he had been in a thicket from Indians. 

On this occasion, when the Indians finally hushed their jargon 
and demoniac yells, and the dark mantle of night closed down on 
hill, dale, and chaparral, Westfall came forth slowly and cau- 
tiously, stopping and listening at the slightest sound, sometimes 
with one foot raised and bated breath, as the distant bark of a 
coyote was heard or the bushes rustled by some prowling noc- 
turnal animal gliding away from his presence. In this way, step 
by step and many halts, he approached their noonday camp, de- 
termined not to leave until he found out the fate of his com- 
panion if possible. Poor Hammock ! Where was he now, at 
whom he laughed only that morning about his warnings and bad 
omens ? All of these things passed through Westf all's mind as he 
passed among the trees. Every dark object on the ground was 
examined or touched. A white something appeared at his feet. 
His heart sank within him. It might be the body stripped and 
mutilated. He slowly stooped and touched it, and a breath of 
relief came. It was the ashes where the fire had burned out that 
Jim had made that day at noon to boil their coffee and roast their 
meat. His search was of course fruitless, as at this time Jim was 
tearing through the brush and pear, lacerating himself at every 
step, trying to get to the ranch in the dark. 

Horses, saddles and everything were gone. With noiseless tread 
of his moccasined feet he searched the open ground around the 
mott. He might have ran a distance before being killed. Finally, 
however, he gave it up and was about to start on his journey to 
the ranch, when he thought of his spurs. Surely the Indians did 
not find them hung up as high as he could reach among the thick 
leaves of an elm tree. When he felt for them they were gone. too. 
There was nothing left now for him to do but to return to the 
ranch and report Jim killed' and get Blanchard to come back 
with him after the body. With shouldered rifle and long, steady 
strides he commenced his dark and lonely journey through the 
pathless woods. 

Long after the turn of the night, when the cock had crowed 
twice, Jim Hammock, torn by thorns, wet and full of prickly 
pears, startled the inmates of the Westfall ranch by knocking at 
the cabin door and announcing his name. Explanations soon 
followed after he entered. He told of the attack by the Indians 

E. D. WESTFALL. 359 

and flight of himself across the lake, and then from elevated 
ground beheld his noble companion going in a run to his rescue. 
Being almost in among the Indians when he last saw him, it 
was almost certain that he had perished. Winding up, he said, 
"Yes, boys, Westfall is gone. The Indians got him this time, 
and no mistake. " 

"No they haven't, Jim. Here I am \" came a voice from out 
the darkness near the cabin door, which at that instant opened 
and the tall form of Westfall stood before them. The reader can 
imagine the joy and explanations that followed. Westfall was 
just about to announce his presence and the death of Jim when 
he saw a light in the house and heard the voice of his companion 
telling the others of his death. 

Although Hammock had nearly half a day the start of West- 
fall, the latter came near beating him to the ranch on account of 
his better knowledge of the country and coming straight. 

Soon after this the men all left Westfall, and he was alone once 
more except for the companionship of his dogs and horses. He 
was greatly attached to one of his dogs, whom he called George 
Washington. Jim Hammock wanted to see some of the country 
still further west, and when Big Foot Wallace obtained the con- 
tract to carry the mail to El Paso he got in as one of the stage 
guards. Before starting on his first trip, however, he again pre- 
dicted evil and said he would never come back. This time, as 
before, his words seemed prophetic, for he was killed at a fan- 
dango in El Paso by a Mexican. 

The Indians learned to know and dread Westfall, and tried 
many times to kill him. On one occasion he went on foot to take 
a short hunt, and the Indians came in his absence and laid an 
ambush for him. They saw his trail where he had left the cabin 
and crossed the river on a foot log which he had placed there by 
chopping a tall tree across it for convenience when wishing to 
pass to the opposite side on foot. Here at this log the Indians 
waited concealed. One, however, exposed himself, and the keen 
eye of the settler discovered him when he returned, and he hastily 
went back, knowing there was an ambush there. The Indians 
left cover and followed, and he took the brush on them in a dense 
thicket and stopped, lying flat on his stomach, so that he could 
see to some extent under the brush. Here he awaited develop- 
ments. Presently the Indians commenced a great yelling all on 


one side of the thicket, like they were coming in. Westfall turned 
a little and listened at them, but without getting up. Soon a 
stick cracked in the other direction, and his attention was di- 
rected there. With his face almost to the ground and rifle ready 
he waited. A bush moved. A dark object was seen, which finally 
developed into the face and black head of an Indian as he slowly, 
inch at a time, moved into view looking for the white man. Only 
a moment it was seen there and the crack of a rifle was heard. 
The brush around "Westfall for a few moments was enveloped 
in smoke and he lay still in the position he occupied, with his 
pistol ready for an emergency if any others were close behind. 
All was still, and he hastily reloaded his rifle. The Indians out- 
side of the thicket quit yelling. When the smoke cleared away 
Westfall saw that he had got his Indian. He could see his hair 
spread out on the leaves. All the balance of the evening he 
stayed here, but could hear nothing more of the other Indians. 
About sundown he crawled to where his dead Indian was and 
looked at him. He was shot between the eyes. His hair was 
about two feet in length and very thick. His bow was strung 
and one arrow in his hand ready to shoot. The Indians evi- 
dently sent this fellow in there to crawl up on Westfall and shoot 
him while they attracted his attention by their yelling in the 
other direction. When their man did not return after the report 
of the rifle they knew what his fate was, and left without any 
further investigation. When night come Westfall cautiously left 
the thicket and made his way back to his cabin, but not by way 
of the foot log ; he avoided that and crossed lower down. When 
he did not wish his dogs to follow he left them in the cabin, and 
they were there on his return. Although the Indians had been 
near they had not approached the house. 

Westfall went several trips with Wallace as stage guard, but 
not liking this business soon quit. 

One of the relay stations for Big Foot Wallace was at Fort 
Inge, and on one occasion just before arriving there he discovered 
the track of the Big Foot Indian where he and six of his followers 
had crossed the road. Wallace had often trailed this Indian on 
the Colorado, had seen him three times, but never fired at him. 
His track was fourteen inches in length as measured by Wallace 
on one occasion near Austin. On arriving at the fort Westfall 
was there, and Wallace told him of the presence of Big Foot and 

E. D. WESTFALL. 361 

his band, and furthermore, if the Indians made a raid in the 
vicinity and cleaned up the horse stock, that he would leave his 
relay of mules on the Frio, and if he needed them to follow Big 
Foot with, to go and get them. As Wallace expected, all of the 
horses were taken and the mules were sent for, and three or four 
men and one boy mounted and set out on the trail, led by West- 
fall. The Indians went up Nueces Canyon to its source, and then 
crossed over into the head draws of South Llano. Here they 
went into camp in a dense cedar brake and proceeded to rest and 
cook a small bear which they had killed. Thinking they had got 
all the horses, they did not fear pursuit. The soldiers at the fort 
had gone on a scout. 

About sundown of the second day of the pursuit the camp of 
the Indians was located by their smoke. Westfall now camped, 
but without building any fire, and awaited morning for the at- 
tack. At daybreak he went to reconnoiter their position, taking 
the boy, whose name was Preston Polly, with him. The other 
men were told if they heard his gun to come quickly. At first 
he descended into the bed of a gorge which skirted the foot of a 
hill to the right of Big Foot's camp, which was on this elevation, 
but back in a cedar brake, as before stated. Following up the 
gorge to a point opposite the place where smoke was seen the 
evening before, a trail was discovered which led down the hill to 
a pool of water fed by seep springs, and below it was very rank, 
coarse grass. . Westfall had halted in this grass for a few mo- 
ments looking at the trail and was about to follow it, when he saw 
the legs of a horse and an Indian under the bushes following the 
trail coming towards the pool of water. He now instantly cocked 
his gun and stood in readiness, and when the Indian came into 
full view the heart of the pioneer beat quickly, for Big Foot, the 
scourge of the southwest frontier, was before him. Silently 
motioning for the boy to be still who stood behind him, he slowly 
and steadily raised his gun. At this time the horse discovered 
the presence of the ambushed marksman and snorted. Big Foot 
turned quickly to look at him and was for a moment stationary, 
presenting a fair side view, and — bang ! Night came down on the 
burly chief. He fell in his tracks, shot through the heart. The 
last object his eyes rested on was a white man's horse. He be- 
longed to Adolf Fry, and was taken near Fort Inge. The other 
men now came quickly and a charge was made up the hill, past 


the body of the dead chief, into the camp. The other Indians, 
however, were gone, being alarmed by Westf all's gun, which no 
doubt they thought boded no good for their chief, as no shout 
or call came from him. The stolen horses were all in camp ex- 
cept those ridden off by the fleeing Indians. It was evident they 
were about to leave, and the chief was going to water his horse. 
The hungry men ate a good portion of the bear meat, which was 
fat and well roasted. Among other things left in camp was a 
shield and quiver of arrows. The big chief was 7 feet in height 
and would weigh about 300 pounds. He had such a grip on the 
halter by which he was leading the horse that the animal could 
not pull away from him or move him out of his position as he lay. 
He made several efforts to do so, when the gun fired and the In- 
dian fell. Also in one hand the chief clutched a bow and some 
arrows, and his fingers had to be opened with force to release 
them, as was also the halter in the other hand. He had a broad, 
rough face and powerful arms and legs, and his hair was about 
a yard in length. It was not in the nature of Westfall and Wal- 
lace to scalp their victims, as many did. Westfall had promised 
Wallace to bring him the moccasins of Big Foot if he killed him, 
so these were taken off for that purpose. One of the men wished 
to wear them back and pulled them on over a heavy pair of boots, 
and then they were too large. On the Indian's right knee was the 
sign of Tom Green's bullet, where he wounded him near Austin 
in 1839. This was Gen. Tom Green in the civil war, and he was 
killed at the battle of Blair's Landing, La., in 1863. 

When Westfall and his men returned to Fort Inge the mocca- 
sins were left there for Wallace, but he never goth them. A man 
there obtained possession of them with a promise to deliver them 
to Wallace at San Antonio, but he never did, and went on to the 
States with them. 

When Big Foot Wallace quit the mail service he was commis- 
sioned by Gov. P. H. Bell to raise a company of rangers for fron- 
tier defense. The company was raised, with Westfall as lieu- 

The hardest fight they had during this service was on the 
Todas Santos (All Saints) Creek, at a place called the Black 
Hills, sixteen miles from the present town of Cotulla, in La Salle 
County. There were eighty Indians and nineteen rangers, and 
one of them named Jackson was very sick, and had to lie on a 

E. D. WESTFALL. 363 

blanket under a mesquite trie during the combat. It was hot, 
dry weather, and the rangers had been three days without water. 
Jr was in August. 1854, and the rangers were fighting to get at a 
waterhole which was in the possession of the Comanches.' Cap- 
tain Wallace knew where all the waterholes were, and had led his 
men over the hot, desolate hills and valleys, through prickly pear 
and catclaw bushes, to this watering place, and found the In- 
dians there, and a desperate battle ensued of an hour or more. 
The Indians were finally driven away, leaving twenty-two of their 
number dead on the ground, among whom was the chief. Cap- 
tain Wallace killed him with a large rifle which once belonged 
to Col. James Bowie. The mesquite tree behind which Wallace 
stood was struck by many bullets. Westfall did some splendid 
shooting, and more than one Indian went down under his fire. 
Several of the rangers were wounded, some severely, and they 
were carried on stretchers to Fort Inge. None were killed. 

After the company was disbanded Westfall returned to his 
ranch and once more took up his hermit life. The Indians still 
tried to get him, but were foiled many times. 

In 1855 a Frenchman named Louie came down from Fort Inge 
and wanted to live with Westfall. This was agreeable, and a day 
was set to return to the fort to bring his effects down to the 
ranch. When the time arrived Westfall said it was best to wait 
until night to make the trip, as there were Indians in the coun- 
try. He had been out to kill a deer and saw their signs. This was 
the 30th day of June, 1855. At 3 o'clock Westfall went out to 
the hand mill and ground some corn. Everything looked quiet 
and serene, but at this moment a band of Indians were secreted 
near by and watching his every movement. When his back was 
turned and he started back to the house with the meal on his 
shoulder, an Indian left cover, and making a quick run gained a 
position behind the corn crib near the cabin. When Westfall ar- 
rived at the door of his house he turned, as was his custom before 
entering, and took a look around. At this moment the Indian be- 
hind the crib, who had his gun in position, fired and badly 
wounded him in the right breast. The ball entered high up near 
the collar bone and ranged a little down, going through the upper 
part of the right lung and passing on out through the body. He 
did not fall, but carried the meal in the house, and getting his gun 
and pistol started to go out to fight the Indians, who by this time 


were yelling and shooting at the house. Thinking he could not 
recover from the wound, his intention was to try and get as many 
of them as they did of him, or more if he could. 

The Frenchman held Westfall back, and said that he would 
fight the Indians. Being now very weak from loss of blood, he 
yielded and fell back on the bed, but protruded the muzzle of his 
rifle through a crack between the logs of the cabin, from which he 
had torn a board for that purpose. The brave Louie kept his 
word. He took up a shotgun loaded with buckshot, and throwing 
open the door fired one barrel and killed the Indian at the crib. 
A great shout was now set up by the Comanches, and many balls 
hit the house, mostly coming from across the open ground. 

The Frenchman was greatly excited and raved and swore, going 
to the door again to get another shot, against the advice of West- 
fall, who admonished him to keep still and watch a chance to 
shoot. As he presented himself in the open door he was struck by 
a ball that went through his body and fell in a tin pan sitting on 
a table behind him. He turned quickly and looked at the ball as 
it rattled in the pan. and then put his gun down and told the al- 
most unconscious Westfall that he Avas killed, too. He then sat 
down in a chair, pulled off his boots, called for water, and fell over 
dead on the floor. The door was still open and Westfall was not 
able to get up and shut it. The dog, G-eorge Washington, who 
was in the house, now sallied forth when Louie fell, and attacked 
an Indian who was approaching the house. He pulled the rigging 
off the Comanche, even the quiver from his back, and bit him 
badly, but was mortally wounded by a lance, and returning to 
the house went in and died beside the Frenchman. Westfall now 
gave up all hope. He was too weak to make a fight, and expected 
every moment his foes would be in upon him, who would have 
paid any price almost for his scalp. This was the only time they 
ever had him in their power and unable to defend himself, and 
would have got him if they had known the situation. Not know- 
ing this, they finally took their departure and left him alone. 

The wounded man stayed all night in the cabin on the blood- 
covered bed, part of the time unconscious. When daylight came 
his head, neck, and eyes were so badly swollen he could not see, 
and only knew when daylight came by the birds singing. He had 
been expecting some men down from Fort Inge to fish and hunt, 
and now looked to them to help him, expecting them to come that 

E. D. WES TF ALL. 3(>5 

day. The day passed off and they did not come, and he passed an- 
other night alone and in darkness on the bed, and his dead com- 
panion and dead dog on the floor. The only chance to get help 
was for him to go to the fort himself. He was a man of powerful 
strength, courage, and will power, and on the third day deter- 
mined to make the effort. The swelling in his eyes had abated to 
some extent, so that he could see his way. Xot wishing for the 
dead man and dog to decay in the house, he had a hard time in 
getting them out, but was finally successful. He was not able to 
carry his rifle, and hid it in the weeds. A pistol, gourd of water, 
and some ground coffee and tin can to make it in was carried 
along. He also aided locomotion with a stick. The first day only 
five miles were made. When he became exhausted he would make 
a little very strong coffee and drink it. On the third night, as he 
was slowly and painfully making his way along the Fort Inge 
road, he was met by the party whom he had been expecting at his 
ranch to hunt. They were traveling at night to avoid Indians. 
One of the party, named William Luckey, came near shooting him 
for an Indian. They helped him to get on to the fort, and he was 
put under the post surgeon there. 

About three days after Westfall left his ranch Big Foot Wal- 
lace and two other men come on the scene. At first sight of the 
dead man in the yard Wallace said, "Hello ! the Indians have 
killed Westfall." On coming nearer and seeing the discolored 
face and black hair of the Frenchman, he again exclaimed, "Xo ; 
Westfall has killed an Indian." Further inspection revealed the 
truth of the situation, and Wallace then went to look for his 
friend, believing he was either dead or wounded somewhere near 
by. By his knowledge of woodcraft he soon found the trail of 
Westfall, and came back and told his companions, who had never 
been on a frontier before, that Westfall was wounded and gone to 
Fort Inge, and described all the circumstances of his having his 
pistol and gourd, walking with a stick, and had no gun, etc. 

Wallace now took the trail, expecting to find the wounded man 
on the road, but late in the night met a party who were coming 
down to bury Louie. They went back to the fort together, and 
told Wallace the particulars as they went along. After staying 
a while with Westfall, Wallace went back with a party and buried 
the Frenchman and also the dog. Westfall had two horses tied 
in the brush when he was wounded, and thought the Indians 


had got them, but they were found by Wallace and taken care 
of. They were nearly starved. The two men who came with 
Wallace first to the ranch were planters from the Colorado, hunt- 
ing for runaway negroes. They went back to San Antonio from 
the fort. 'Westfall had a hard pull for his life. Big Foot Wallace 
came often to see him, and brought books and papers for him to 
read while convalescing. 

This episode in the life of Westfall caused him to think of lay- 
ing up something for a "rainy day." After his recovery and re- 
turn to the ranch his brother Abel, who had been informed of his 
situation, came from the States and lived several years with him, 
and assisted in the management of the stock. During the civil 
war the stock was removed to Nueces Canyon and located near 
Camp Wood, another military post which had been established. 
Here he stayed nine years, and during that time acted as guide 
and trailer for citizens, rangers, and soldiers. The Indians knew 
him and Henry Robinson so well they painted their pictures on a 
rock — Eobinson with his shotgun and Westfall with his rifle. 

In 1874 he sold all of his cattle, and in 1877 moved to Bexar 
county and settled fifteen and one-half miles southeast from San 
Antonio, on the west bank of Calaveras Creek. In 1881 he sold 
his Leona ranch and went farming. In the same year, June 5th, 
he married Miss Josephine Susan Dillon. He lived on the farm 
here until his death, which occurred on the 12th day of June, 
1897. He had been in bad health for some time, and on Thurs- 
day, the 10th, before his death, was taken in the middle of the 
afternoon with cholera morbus, which terminated fatally on Sat- 
urday. He died easy and without a struggle. Those who stood 
around his bedside in his last hours besides his wife were his 
brother, Abel Westfall, William Boykin, Lemuel Mays, and D. H. 
Dillon, a brother of Mrs. Westfall. In the cemetery at Elmen- 
dorf, on the Aransas Pass road, the great frontiersman was 
buried. He left no family except his w r ife. He had a brother- 
in-law, John Rcinbold, who lives in San Antonio. Had also 
two neices and one nephew there. One brother, Isaac, died in 
Grayson County, Texas. Henry, another brother, died near 
Mumfordville. Ky., during the civil war. Mrs. Westfall has a 
knife which her husband carried for many years, and which 
originally belonged to his old friend and companion, Henry 
Robinson. It has "II. R." cut on the handle, done by Robinson 

E. D. WESTFALL. :i(>7 

himself. The following is the will of Westfall, as copied by the 
writer from the San Antonio E.rpress, bearing date of June 26, 

"The last will and testament of the late Edward Dixon West- 
fall, who died June 12th, 1897, has been filed for probate. All 
of the deceased's property, valued at $5000, is bequeathed to his 
wife, Josephine Susan "Westfall. The will provides that after 
her death the property shall be invested in the city of San An- 
tonio in trust to be converted into cash and applied to the es- 
tablishment of a free public library, to which whites and blacks 
shall have access on equal terms, but separate reading rooms." 

At the request of many friends of Mr. Westfall in the West, 
the writer made a journey of more than 100 miles in February 
of 1897 to interview him and write a sketch of his eventful life, 
not knowing he had passed away. His wife and brother fur- 
nished most of the data for this sketch. He thought a great 
deal of Big Foot Wallace, and said that while he was the most 
cautious man he ever saw, that when the test came his courage 
uever failed him. nor his presence of mind, and that his judg- 
ment was never at fault. 



Came to Texas in 1846. 

Mr. Henry Bracks, the subject of this sketch, and one of the 
pioneers of Southwest Texas, was born on the 16th of February, 
1838, in Westphalen, on the Ehine, and came to Texas with his 
parents and brother in 1846 as a Castro colonist. The ship in 
which they sailed was the Medina, and the first port touched was 
Galveston, Texas. The objective point, however, from which to 
make their start on the overland route to the Castro settlement 
was Port Lavaca, but in attempting to land at this place the 
ship was blown off by a norther and had to land at Corpus 

In writing up the early history of the West there is bound 
to be more or less repetition and the same ground gone over 
again to some extent, where different individuals are inter- 
viewed who participated in the same events described, but in 
getting the statements of more than one, new facts are brought 
out. Every one does not have the same experience, and often in 
giving the details of battles or settlements one will remember 
an incident that escaped the recollection of another who was 

From Corpus Christi the Bracks family after many hardships 
arrived at Castroville. Other colonists who had preceded them 
had already commenced a settlement under the management of 
Henry Castro, and their future town named. This was on the 
Medina Eiver, twenty-five miles west from San Antonio. After 
staying a month at this place the Bracks family, with others, 
went further west about ten miles and commenced a settlement 
on the Quihi Creek, at the famous lake of the same name. Quihi 
means eagle in Spanish, or one certain kind which Americans 
call a Mexican eagle, or buzzard. They are not a buzzard, how- 
ever, but an eagle. They have white heads, brown bodies, white 
tails, and tips of wings white. They were quite numerous in 
this country at an early day. 

A town had been laid off at this place by Castro, and each set- 
tler received a town lot besides his regular grant of farming 

HENR ) r BR UCKS . 369 

land. There were no roads out to this place, and the journey 
with women and children and heavily loaded carts and wagons 
was slow and tedious. The start was made on the 2d day of 
March, 1846, and at sunset of the same day they arrived on the 
ground. Each man's lot was numbered on a stake driven in the 
ground. John B. Brucks, father of Henry, had a lot near the 
lake and succeeded in finding his number before dark, and 
camped the first night on his possession. Night came on so soon 
after arriving that many could not find their numbers, and 
they camped as convenience suited them for the night, building 
many bright and cheerful looking fires up and down the creek. 
Mr. Brucks distinctly remembers how the bright fires looked on 
that first night. Xext day the people all found their lots and 
occupied them. As there was no chance to build houses for 
some time to come, the people had to live in tents. The colonists 
divided, part of them settling one mile below the lake. Of 
this party was the old man Boinkhoff, his wife, one married son 
and his wife, one single son about 10 years of age, and a grand- 
son about the same age. All of these were living in one tent. 
About 12 o'clock af night of the eighth day of the new settle- 
ment, a man who had been a cook on board the ship in which 
they sailed for America came up from the lower settlement, 
where he. lived, and told the elder Brucks that the Indians were 
in the lower settlement and were killing all the people down 
there. On being awakened and told this, startling news Mr. 
Brucks hastily arose, and, donning his garments, went and 
aroused every man in the colony who had been a soldier in 
Europe, and organized them into a squad to fight the Indians. 
Those who had not been soldiers were not allowed to go with 
this crowd, but were left with the women and children. A man 
named Deides was detailed to ring a bell which hung on a mes- 
quite tree near Mr. Brucks" tent. This bell had been sold at 
auction on board the ship and bought by Mr. Brucks. Captain 
Brucks now formed his men and ordered them to fire off their 
guns and reload them, so as to be sure they were in good con- 
dition. They now marched down to the scene of the trouble. 
They were not used to Indian warfare, and talked loud as they 
marched along. On arriving at a point about half way to the 
lower settlement a voice came out of the brush and darkness 



asking if Mr. Bracks was in the crowd. On being answered in 
the affirmative, the voice said, "Come out here to me and pull 
these sticks out of my head." Mr. Bracks at once went to the 
man, and found it was old man Boinkhoff with two arrows in his 
forehead. With some difficulty they were extracted, and the 
wounded man went on up to the upper settlement. Bracks and 
his men went to the tent and found that the two women were 
dead and scalped in front of it. Another voice now came out of 
the darkness about thirty yards away, calling for Mr. Bracks. 
On going out there young Boinkhoff was found to be mortally 
wounded, shot through the bowels with a bullet. He begged the 
men to kill him, and died before daylight. He told them before 
he died that they heard wolves, as they supposed, that night close 
by, but paid no attention to it. After a while a shot was fired, 
and the ball came through the tent and struck him. He knew 
nothing about Indians, and supposed it was a man named Bruck- 
man shooting turkeys, which he had been doing several nights. 
The turkeys roosted in the timber on the creek not far from 
the tents. He told his wife to go and tell Bruckman not to 
shoot any more, as he had already hit him. Both of the women 
went out of the tent to do so and were met by the Indians al- 
most in the door of the tent, who at once began to lance them. 
They screamed and tried to escape, but soon fell and expired 
under the terrible thrusts. The old man now went out under 
the tent and got behind a tree and looked around it to see what 
was going on, and received two arrows in the forehead. Young 
Boinkhoff also crawled under the tent and went to the brush 
while the Indians were killing his wife and mother. The man 
Bruckman, who was supposed to be shooting the turkeys, lived 
in a tent near by. 

xAiter the two unfortunate women were slain the Indians went 
into the tent and began to plunder it. In the tent was a large 
box which had been brought from Europe, and which contained 
clothing and guns, the latter being at the bottom and hard to 
get at, and had never been taken oat. By this time the alarm 
had been raised above, bell ringing, guns firing, etc. The In- 
dians only took a few things, not getting down to the guns, 
which were left, and they commenced their retreat, carrying the 
two boys with them. The wounded man in the brash could hear 
his son calling, "Help me, father; help me!'' but his cries soon 

HENR ) ' BR UCKS. 37 1 

erased, and the father thought that they had gone out of hear- 
ing; but the Indians had killed him to stop his cries. His body 
was found next morning not far away. It was lying inside of 
what is now the yard of Lienber Boele. Next day the news of the 
raid was carried to Castroville, and men came and followed the 
Indians, but could not find them. , 

In about six months news came that the boy who had been 
carried off was in Fredericksburg, having been brought there 
by an Indian agent, and old man Boinkhoff w r ent there on foot 
to bring him home. Mr. Henry Bracks was w T ith the boy a good 
deal after he was brought back, but he would not talk much, and 
very little could be learned about his captivity. He said, how- 
ever, that the Indians traveled three days after the raid before 
they would stop and make a fire. They then camped on a bold, 
running stream, where were many pecan trees. This must have 
been the South Llano. They stayed here some time, and the In- 
dians painted the boy. As soon as he got a chance he washed it 
off, and was whipped by the squaws for it. The boy and the old 
grandpa both died in less than a year after the boy's return. 

Xot long after this first rude shock of the western savage the 
settlers built a large brush fence near the lake and fronting on 
it. Here the people lived inside of the inclosure and called it 
"the yard." Many of them took the fever, however, and here 
old man Boinkhoff and the captive boy died. 

The next thing to happen was the capture of a boy named 
Henry Snyder by the Indians. He and Baptiste Nuspaum, a 
grown man, were herding cattle to keep them out of the crops, 
as they had no fences at that time. Baptiste and the boy sepa- 
rated, and no one saw the Indians when they captured him. He 
was never recovered. In 184? the elder Bracks went to hunt 
cows for Baptiste Xuspaum, who had no horse. Mr. Bracks 
went down the Quihi Creek beyond where 'Squire Charobiny 
now lives, and ascending a hill so as to see over into the valley, 
discovered six Indians dismounted and standing by their horse-. 
At sight of the white man the Indians mounted to chase him. 
Bracks, having no gun, turned and fled towards the settlement, 
followed by the yelling savages. The chase led through what 
is now the yard of 'Squire Charobiny, down the steep hill, then 
into Quihi Creek, and across the open flat now inclosed in the 
Charobinv farm. The Indians, seeino- thev could not catch him, 


stopped on the bluff and fired their guns at him as he ran north 
of the creek. The faithful horse who was carrying his master 
safely away was struck by a ball and mortally wounded. He 
held up, however, and kept his speed until out of sight of the 
Indians, and then fell dead in a liveoak grove. After the death 
of his horse Bracks continued his flight on foot and safely 
reached the settlement. Next morning he and others went back 
to the dead horse and removed the saddle. The bullet had 
passed through him. Nothing was seen of the Indians. 

After Meyer was killed and Mrs. Charobiny captured, an In- 
dian was taken in a fight out west and was brought to Quihi by 
Tom Kife and a man named Allen, and some others. They 
wanted to see if Mrs. Charobiny could identify him as one of 
those who had captured and badly wounded her. All Indians, 
she said, looked alike to her, and she could not tell. There was 
a family who kept a barroom or a barrel of whisky at Quihi, and 
would sell to anyone who wanted it. To this place the men who 
had the Indian went and stayed all night and drank whisky, and 
during the time some of them killed the Indian. Next morning 
a man put a rope around the dead Indian and dragged the body 
half a mile, and left it for the hogs to eat. A field covers the 
place now. The Indian was killed where Rolhf s blacksmith 
shop is now, or was. Some of the old settlers that live at Ban- 
dera think the Indian that was killed here was "Old Delaware 
Bob," a friendly Indian, or had been at least. 

On the 14th of March, 1867, the Indians killed old man Hiram 
Gerdes, about two and a half miles southeast of Quihi. At this 
time Henry Bracks was a guard for the United States mail from 
Fort Clark to Fort Stockton. Holiday was boss of this part of 
the line, and Cook of the other. One would start from Stockton 
and the other from Clark and pass on the route. At this time 
the Indians had captured and robbed the Cook outfit. They went 
into camp on Liveoak Creek, above Fort Lancaster, intending to 
rest the mules three hours and then go on. A man was sent with 
the mules to water a short distance from camp, and the Indians 
made a rush and got them. The men stayed in camp all night, 
and next morning saw the Indians coming in all directions to at- 
tack them. There were only ten men in Cook's party, but they 
fought the Indians for some time and then began a retreat 
through the roughest part of the country, fighting as they went. 

HENR } r BR UCKS. 373 

There was a Mexican in the crowd called Big Joe, who got into a 

hole in the side of a hill and watched the Indians rob the mail 
and burn the stage. When Bracks and his party came on they 
met Big Joe just beyond the Painted Cave, on Devil's River, and 
he told the men not to go on, as they would all be killed. The 
part}', however, said they must go on with the mail, and would do 
so and deliver it or die in the attempt, and told Joe he had better 
go with them. He got in the stage and rode a short distance, but 
then jumped out, and said, "I can't go; you will all be killed, 
boys; they have done killed our men." Near Camp Hutson a halt 
was made to rest and feed the mules. Mr. Bracks, who had just 
been relieved from guard duty, heard someone talking on the road 
in English, and it was soon discovered that it was Cook's men. 
They were glad to get with the others, and were hungry and tired. 
They told about the fight, and said they tried hard to save the 
stage but were compelled to abandon it, not, however, until their 
ammunition was nearly all gone. They retreated into a gorge full 
of cedar, and the Indians did not follow them any further. The 
Mexican, Joe, they also said, left before they did and watched the 
Indians burn the stage, and supposed they were all killed, as he 
did not see them when they commenced their retreat. The Cook 
party were all on foot and went on to Fort Clark, and the Bracks 
party to Lancaster. There were two roads. One went clown a 
steep hill, but cut off eight- miles. The Cook party went the long 
route by Liveoak Creek, but Holiday's men went down the steep 
hill so as to get to the fort as soon as possible. At 12 o'clock in 
the night they saw fires and were almost sure there were Indians, 
but saw none. Passed the Pecos and stopped two hours at Pecos 
Springs. They got to the fort all right and stayed there three 
days, so as to give Cook's party time to go down. The Indians 
thought the stage was coming back at once, and laid a trap to 
capture it at Howard's Wells, but left when they saw it was not 
coining. When the men did come on with the stage they saw signs 
of a large crowd of Indians at the wells. They went by and ex- 
amined the place where Cook's stage had been burned. The iron- 
work of the coach was seen in the ashes, and portions of the mail 
scattered around. These Indians went on down to Bear Lake on 
Devil's River, and then went towards the head of the Xueces and 
Frio rivers and raided below the mountains. Mr. Bracks thinks 


these were some of the Indians who killed old man Gerdes, as it 
was done abont the same time. 

Mr. Bracks was a member of Captain Kicharz's company of 
rangers, and did good service on the frontier. He now lives in 
Quihi, near the place where he settled with his father fifty-four 
years ago. In regard to the bell which was rang that night dur- 
ing the Indian raid, it was carried to D'Hanis and used for a 
church bell. A sister of Mr. Bracks married Mr. Nick Ney and 
moved to D'Hanis, and that is the reason why the bell was carried 
there. This was the first bell brought to that country. When a 
new church was built and they wanted a better bell they sent the 
old bell to the foundry and used it in the construction of the new 
one with the other material. The people thought a great deal of 
the old bell, and this one, composed of the old and the new ma- 
terial, is still at D'Hanis. 



Came to Texas in 1846. 

Five miles east of Castroville, on the San Antonio road, lives 
a quiet, unassuming farmer named Herman Huehner, and any- 
one seeing him at his daily labors as he toils for an honest living 
on his farm, and hears him speak in his soft, low voice, never al- 
luding to what he has done as frontiersman or soldier, would be 
led to infer that he had never been fifty miles from his little 
farm since coming to this country and settling, and that nothing 
of passing interest had occurred in his quiet home life to ruffle the 
even tenor of his way. On the contrary, however, this pleasant, 
sociable old gentleman has passed through some stormy scenes in 
his life — fought Indians on the Texas frontier, Mexicans in Mex- 
ico, and on several occasions followed the fortunes of the famous 
"Mustang*' Grey. 

Mr. Huehner was born in Switzerland, but his parents were 
German. His father was of delicate constitution and went to the 
mountains of Switzerland for his health, spent several years there, 
and finally died there. Herman was born there in 1825. His 
mother also died there, and then he made his way back to Ger- 
many. In 1846 he come to Texas with one of his uncles, sailing 
from Bremen. The ship on which they sailed was the Louise 
Fredericke, commanded by Captain Knigge. On board were 103 
immigrants, sixteen crew, and two mates. The vessel was one 
of the fastest on the line, and made the trip without incident in 
forty days. One ship left two weeks before this one, but was 
seven days behind when the Louise arrived at Galveston. The 
names of some of the colonists who came on the ship were Louis 
Moehnig, George Leisburg, John Leisburg, Keiser, Esanhauer, 
and Frederick. The uncle of young Huehner was named Herman 
Fernan. When the ship landed at Galveston our subject ob- 
tained a job of helping to unload it, which took several days. 
The final start for the west was made from Port Lavaca, and 
they came direct to Castroville. Supplies were short in the col- 
ony, and cornmeal had to be brought from Austin, the capital of 
the State, distant about 100 miles. 


On one occasion Mr. Iveiser and Mr. Keller went to Austin in 
an ox cart after meal, and sta3 r ed so long fears were entertained 
for their safety. The delay, however, was caused by an overflow 
in the Guadalupe River. They remained a long time on its 
banks, but as it went down slowly and they were consuming their 
meal, finally gathered logs and made a raft, on which they crossed 
their cart and oxen. It was a long, slow, and tedious trip through 
the black prairie mud to Castroville, and when they finally ar- 
rived there they only had a pint of meal apiece for each member 
of the two families. 

After arriving in Castroville Mr. Huehner only remained there 
ten days, and going to San Antonio in search of work found a 
job of cutting pickets for Mr. Nat Lewis on the Leona, ten miles 
west of San Antonio. He worked at this ten days, making 'money 
enough to buy a horse, when he joined a company of Texas 
rangers commanded by Capt. John Conner. They were sta- 
tioned at the San Lucas Springs, between San Antonio and 
Castroville. Their lieutenant was William Jett, and Mr. Hueh- 
ner says he was a splendid man. A great deal of scouting was 
done by this company, but not many encounters were had with 
the Indians. On one occasion, however, Mr. Huehner partici- 
pated in his first fight while in this service. The rangers were 
scouting on the Seco, and late in the evening were just prepar- 
ing to camp two miles above the present town of D'Hanis, when 
they were attacked by the Lipan Indians. The rangers had all 
dismounted, but their horses were still saddled. Taken by sur- 
prise, but not dismayed, the rangers met the charge on horse- 
back, having mounted at the first yell. The numbers were equal, 
being twenty-five on each side, and the combat did not last long. 
The Indians went back after the first charge and scattered, 
leaving two dead near the rangers, and some went off wounded. 
Old Castro, the Lipan chief, led the Indians. The rangers 
camped on the ground and kept vigilant guard through the 
night, but nothing further transpired. Next morning the 
rangers took the bows and shields of the dead Indians and a 
pistol which one had in a belt around his waist, and left, but did 
not scalp them. 

The war with Mexico now being on hand, Captain Conner's 
company was mustered into the service of the United States on 
the 23d day of September, 1846, and joined General Taylor's 


army at Monterey. They were placed in the regiment of rangers 
commanded by Col. Jack Hays, and did picket duty outside of 
the city, and the regulars stayed inside. Many Mexicans were 
killed here and there by the pickets. Captain Conner had four 
Indian scouts in his company. One, a Choctaw, was called Cap- 
tain Williams ; Bill Chism, another, was a Cherokee, and Merrell 
was a Tonkaway. The other's name is not remembered. The 
Tonk was the best runner; no horse could catch him in the 
brush. The road into the city of Monterey was lined on each 
side with brush and Spanish daggers, and the Mexican cavalry 
would conceal themselves here near the road and rope any of the 
regular infantry who happened to be caught out and drag them 
in. The rangers were always mounted, and the Mexicans never 
tried to rope any of them. 

During the movement of supplies for the army up from Ca- 
margo a large train was attacked by the Mexicans between 
Monterey and Seralvo, near a large ranch called Santa Maria. 
The Mexicans ambushed them beside the road in the brush, and a 
terrible massacre of teamsters ensued. The escort was small and 
soon put to flight, and most of them were killed. Behind this 
train four days was another large one of 300 wagons and 400 men 
as an escort. Two companies of regular infantry, with two can- 
non and two companies of mounted Texas rangers composed the 
force. The rangers were commanded by Capt. John Conner and 
Mustang Gre} r . Mr. Huehner was still w T ith the former com- 
mand. They heard of the capture of the train at Camargo, and 
Captain Grey called for volunteers to go on ahead and bury the 
dead teamsters. Sixty volunteered, among whom was Mr. Hueh- 
ner, and they set out rapidly for the scene of the massacre. 
When they arrived at the place they first began to find the dead 
teamsters scattered along the road in a little valley, and then on 
both sides of the road. Towards the last they were badly scat- 
tered, where they attempted to escape. Many were found in the 
brush some distance from the road, where they were overtaken 
singly and killed by the Mexican cavalry. Some w r ere lying in 
the road where they were shot dead from their mules when first 
fired on. The bodies were badly mangled on account of the 
wagons in the rear running over them during the terrible panic 
of yelling Mexicans and running mules as they dashed along the 
road with the wagons and without drivers. Wild animals and 


buzzards had torn the bodies of the Americans badly but had not 
touched the body of a Mexican, twenty-two of whom were killed 
in the fight and had also been left where they had fallen. The 
teamsters and escort were greatly outnumbered, but put up a 
good fight, as the dead bodies of the greasers that lay among 
them attested. Forty Americans were found and buried. Mus- 
tang Grey was furious, and when the last sad rites to the dead 
were finished, took his men and captured the village of Pana 
Maria and burned it, killing twenty-five Mexicans there. He 
was satisfied, he said, that Mexicans from this place helped to 
capture the train. 

Mr. Huehner went on to Monterey with Captain Grey, and his 
men came later. A lot of Mexican women came on from Pana 
Maria and reported to General Taylor of the raid on their vil- 
lage, and pointed out Mustang Grey as the captain who with his 
men did it. Grey sat very unconcerned and said nothing while 
the women were pointing their fingers at him in accusation. 
General Taylor looked at the ranger captain a few moments, and 
then, laughing, turned away. The Mexican women had to re- 
turn without seeing the "mucho diablo Tehanas" shot, as they 
foudly hoped to see. 

Another train was now coming up from Camargo on a new 
road which ran by the town of Catarina, and General Taylor 
was told that a body of 500 Mexican lancers were going to attack 
it. One hundred and fifty rangers and two companies of regu- 
lars were at once sent to protect it. Conner's and Grey's com- 
panies composed the ranger force, and they were very anxious to 
proceed in a hurry. Catarina was the place where the attack was 
supposed to be made. The line of march was taken up at 10 
o'clock p. m., with Grey's men in the lead. Next came the regu- 
lars, and Conner's men brought up the rear. The regulars went 
slowly, and Grey, who was anxious to reach Catarina by 4 o'clock 
in the morning, became very impatient at the slow progress. The 
officer in command of the regulars gave orders through the night 
in a loud voice to "Slow up in front." Grey finally said he would 
go on with his men, and if the rangers in the rear wanted to go 
with him to come on, and if the regulars did not get out of their 
way to run over them. Conner's men now divided and ran on 
both sides of the regulars until they got ahead of the line and 
went on with Grey. At daybreak the rangers arrived at the town 


and saw Mexicans running from it in all directions. Grey would 
not go in at once for fear of a large force there, but he had ac- 
complished what he intended — to arrive in time to succor the 
train if necessary at this place. The sun was high up when the 
regulars got there, and the officer in command wanted to enter 
the town in regular battle order, with the rangers in the rear. 
Mustang Grey said, "No, sir; I was here first, and I am going 
into the town first." A quarrel now ensued, and Grey cursed the 
officer in fierce language, and said that he and his men would go 

into the town as they d d please, and wound up by drawing 

his pistol and threatening to shoot. Lieutenant Jett, of Conner's 
company, now went to Grey and persuaded him to come away. 
When the start was made into town the rangers took the lead. A 
great disappointment, however, met them — no Mexican soldiers 
were there. The Americans were very hungry, and soon found 
plenty to eat, and took everything they wanted. Some of the 
Mexicans treated them well, and Grey put guards around their 
houses and would not allow anything of theirs to be molested. 
They Avent on from here and met the train and escorted it safely 

After the return to headquarters there were so many com- 
plaints made to General Taylor of the insubordination of the 
rangers he thought best to send the most of them back to the 
Texas frontier, as the fighting was now about over in Mexico. 
The general liked Grey for his vim and unquestionable courage, 
but thought he should, keep his men under better control. He 
sent for him when it was decided to send the rangers back, and 
said : "Grey, your rangers are rough, ready, and rugged, and 
you can take them back to Texas to fight Indians." 

Most all of the rangers were sent back at this time except the 
spy company of Ben McCulloch. Many of them, however, went 
back to Mexico again and participated in some battles under 
General Scott. Grey's and Conner's men separated on the Eio 
Grande, the former going to Corpus Christi. Mr. Huehner was 
mustered out of the service in November, 1847. He intended to 
join the company of Big Foot Wallace, whose captain, Ad. Gil- 
lespie, was killed at Monterey, and he was raising a company to 
go back, but at this time was taken sick and did not get off. 
Mustang Grey and his men had a fight on the Nueces with the 
Comanche Indians before they got to Corpus Christi, and were 


badly used up, but not whipped. Grey was wounded and his 
horse killed, besides quite a lot of his men. Mr. Huehner heard 
that Grey was killed in the fight, and never knew any better 
until he met him one day in San Antonio. He says Grey was 
tall, handsome, well made, and had light hair and blue eyes. 
His given name was Mabry, and he was a native of Tennessee. 

While in Mexico one of Conner's men named Adolph Gusman 
owned a fine gray horse, which took the fancy of General Taylor, 
who wanted him to match one he had, and a trade was made. 
This horse lived to be very old, and died near Baton Eouge, La., 
during the civil war. 

On one occasion Mr. Huehner and Jim Brown followed some 
Indians who had stolen horses, and came upon their camp ten 
miles above Castroville. Only two Indians were in camp with 
the horses, and they crept within eighty yards of them, each 
selecting an Indian, and fired at once. The Indian Brown shot 
yelled once, although hit in the head. Mr. Huehner shot his in 
the breast, and he fell over without uttering a sound. The horses 
were gathered up aud brought back to the settlement. 

When Nat Lewis built a mill in San Antonio in 1850 Mr. 
Huehner was married and living there, and boarded the hands 
that built the mill. 

To give an idea how many rattlesnakes there were in south- 
west Texas in the early days, Mr. Huehner said that on one occa- 
sion he and Bill Adams came out from Castroville on the San 
Antonio road and stopped to camp about sundown, two miles 
from Castroville, at the first creek, near where Fisher's farm is 
now. They dismounted under a mesquite tree and took off their 
saddles, but had to kill seven rattlers before they could spread 
their blankets for the night. 





In the above named year a company of rangers were stationed 
on the Seco two miles above D'Hanis, in Medina County. Gil- 
lette was first captain of this company, but he being- promoted, 
Captain Warfield was in command at the time of which we 

The time of enlistment for this company was about to expire 
but one more scout was made up for a trip into the Sabinal Can- 
yon, then unsettled, and distant from the ranger camp about 
twenty-five miles. The rangers anticipated a fine time killing 
bear if no Indians were found. The scout was composed of thir- 
teen men as follows : 

First Lieutenant Knox, in command; Second Lieutenant 
Ivaisey, John Saddler, Doc Saddler. Jim Fell, Doc Hurrmann 
Bothe, Heynard, John Wesley Deer, Josiah Cass, Rothe Rein- 
hard, John Eastwood, and Harrison Daugherty. Also one visitor 
who accompanied the scout. 

The men passed out through what is now the pastures of the 
Rothe brothers, John Reinhart, and Mrs. Donoho. They went 
into camp m a pecan grove somewhere not far from the present 
village of Utopia, and had fine sport for several days. It was in 
the fall of the year ; pecans were plentiful, as were also bear and 
very tat. One evening Indians were seen on a mountain some 
distance off, and that night the usual guards were placed, but as 
the weather was cold a fire was made and some of the men lay 
down near it. After the turn of the night Wesley Deer was put 
on guard and he stood his time nearly out, but being very cold 
came to the fire and kicked together the smouldering chunks 
and made a blaze. Now at this time a band of Indians, having 
located the ranger camp by the light of their fire, were cautiously 
creeping upon them as young Deer stirred up the fire. A single 
shot was fired from the darkness, and the young ranger fell back- 
ward shot through the heart. His head struck the pallet of Lieu- 
tenant Knox and Josiah Cass. The Indians at once charged 
after the shot with loud yells, -thinking to put the balance to 


flight, but the rangers met them bravely and a fierce fight com- 
menced. John Saddler received an arrow in the breast as he 
sprang up and fired his gun at an Indian near the fire and killed 
him, supposed to be the one who killed Deer. The fight was not 
of long duration. The rangers poured in such a deadly volley 
from rifles and pistols that the Indians were beaten back and dis- 
appeared in the darkness. The arrow was taken out of Saddler, 
and a strict watch was kept until morning, but no more Indians 
appeared. Daylight revealed eight Indians dead around the 
camp. Doc Huffmann had an arrow shot through his hat, Avhich 
was hanging up in camp or on the horn of his saddle. Deer was 
the youngest of the party, and had never seen an Indian. He 
was lashed to his horse and conveyed to canrp and buried. Sad- 
dler recovered. 

Lieutenant Knox was afterwards sheriff of Bexar County. 

Josiah Cass is the only one known to be alive now of the men 
who were in this fight. He now lives at Somerset, Atascosa 



Came to Texas in 1849. 

Among the early settlers of Uvalde County were the Bowles 
family. They were bold, fearless men, and aided materially in 
settling 1Tp the country and fighting the numerous bands of In- 
dians who made desperate efforts to drive the border men back on 
the settlements east. 

W. B. Bowles, better known as "Doke," was born in Alle- 
wamby County, Tennessee, October 22, 1835, and came to Texas 
with his father, John Bowles, in the winter of 1849, and settled 
on the Lampasas River, in Bell County, four miles from Belton. 
John Bowles helped to organize Bell County in 1851. He was 
born in Virginia in 1802, and went to Tennessee with his parents 
when quite young. When the war of 1812 was in progress and 
General Jackson was raising volunteers, his father joined and 
was .killed at the battle of New Orleans. He was hit twice, and 
died of the wounds. There were thirteen children in the family 
of John Bowles — seven girls and six boys. At the time the 
Bowles family lived in Bell County a large band of Kiowa In- 
dians were in the country and camped three miles from the 
Bowles home, on the spot .where the beautiful little town of 
Salado is now. There were but few settlers in Bell County at 
that time, and they had been on friendly terms with these In- 
dians, and let their horses, which were few in number, run on 
the prairie, which was covered with fine grass and nothing 
fenced. Game was abundant, and the Indians spent most of their 
time in the chase. Things went on this way for some time, but 
finally the settlers began to miss horses off the prairie, which by 
the most diligent search could not be found, and suspicion 
pointed to the Indians as having something to do with their dis- 
appearance. A consultation was held among the white settlers, 
and it was determined to drive the Indians away. So accord- 
ingly eight men went to their camp and gave them orders to leave 
at once, or a strong force would be brought against them. These 
men were John Bowles and some of his sons, Doke being one, and 
a man named Blair and his sons. The Indians, when thev heard 


the demand of the white men, stood in silence a few moments and 
then commenced singing and preparing to leave, — saddling 
horses, packing others, until all were ready, — men, squaws, and 
children. Five or six of them would leave, and when they were 
fairly on the way another band would go, until all were gone, 
stretched out across the prairie, headed north. The settlers went 
home relieved, as the presence of the Kiowas had been a menace 
to the whites ever since they pitched their camp on the banks of 
the Salado. 

About ten days after the departure of the Indians every horse 
on the prairie and the forks of Little River was stolen, supposed 
to have been clone by them in revenge for having to leave. About 
four months after this some of the settlers were at a trading post 
up the country, and saw some of the horses, which had been 
brought in by the Kiowas and traded off. 

John Bowles came to Uvalde County with his family in 1855, 
and settled on the Sabinal River, in the Patterson settlement, six 
miles below the present Sabinal station. At this time the In- 
dians were numerous and hostile, and it was only by constant 
watching that a horse could be kept. Mr. Bowles had, brought 
some good horses to the country, and in 1856 established a ranch 
on the west side of the river and built a house. This place was 
below the settlement, and was somewhat more exposed to Indian 
raids. Mr. Bowles built a strong pen in front of his house, and 
one of the boys or himself stood guard almost every night, espe- 
cially during light moons. The horses were put in this pen and a 
blind made for the guard to stand behind, so that he could not be 
seen and make a target for an Indian. Some one has said that 
"eternal vigilance is the price of safety/' and it seems to hold 
good under all dangerous circumstances; but men will get care- 
less even on an exposed frontier, and it always happens that at 
that time the savages strike their blow. One night they failed 
to mount guard at the Bowles ranch, and the first thing anyone' 
knew the horses were all out of the corral and in a dead run. All 
arose, grabbed their guns, and went in pursuit. The course of 
the horses could be followed by the rattling of a bell on one of 
them. Mr. Bowles and his sons followed in their night clothes 
and without their shoes, and soon became scattered. The old 
man caught up with the horses first and saw one Indian leave 
them, but fearing it was one of the boys did not fire at the mo- 


ment, and soon it was too late. The horses were now driven back 
and put in the pen, and Doke got in the blind to stand guard the 
balance of the night. The father said he would go and sit under 
a hackberrv tree on the east bank of the river, near a trail, with 
his shotgun and six-shooter, and watch there. The moon was 
just up, and Doke had not been long on guard when he heard the 
report of his father's gun, and the boys all started in a run to- 
wards the spot, but before getting there heard the old man fire 
six shots from his revolver. Thinking he was having a close 
fight, the boys ran with the utmost speed, and when they arrived 
at the scene saw their father rising up from a prostrate Indian 
with a scalp in his hand, and remarked to them, "Hog my cats, 
if I haven't got one of them." This was about the only byword. 
Mr. Bowles ever used. He never swore or allowed his boys to do 
so if he could prevent it, especially in the presence of himself or 
their mother. Mr. Bowles said there were three Indians, and he 
first discovered them about fifty feet off in the trail, one behind 
the other, and when they came close, not more than thirty feet 
distant, he fired one barrel of his gun, and one of the Indians fell 
and the other two disappeared. The one who fell raised up to a 
sitting position and attempted to shoot an arrow at Bowles, but 
he fired the other barrel at him and then emptied his pistol before 
he fell over. While Bowles was scalping him he raised one hand 
feebly three times towards the knife. There was a gray horse 
standing not far from the Indians, and he was hit in the shoulder 
by some of the buckshot. While looking around a groan was 
heard near by, and the men bunched together and commenced a 
cautious search, and a dog that was along struck a trail. They 
soon heard him baying and started to him, but met the dog com- 
ing back with an arrow in him. The party now all went back to 
the house and a runner was sent to the settlement to give notice 
of the raid, and several got to the Bowles ranch before day and 
had a jolly time over the dead Comanche. By daylight next 
morning a party went to the spot where the dead Indian was, 
and about thirty steps from him lay another dead one, shot 
through the bowels with three buckshot. The first one had an 
arrow grasped in his hand with which he was about to shoot 
Bowles when he received the second shot. His bow also lay near 


Another bloody trail was found leading from the spot where 
the Indians were fired on. This Indian was followed four miles 
but not found at that time. It was he who shot the dog when 
overtaken. The groans and strange noise heard came from the 
one found dead next morning. The Indian who made his escape 
at the time was afterwards found one mile from where his trail 
was lost or abandoned. All three of the Indians received mortal 
wounds from the first shot from the gun. Doke Bowles was a 
(quick, wiry man in those days, a good shot with rifle or pistol, 
and was guide and trailer on many occasions after Indians. 

In 1856, after the fight in Sabinal Canyon in which Leakey 
and Barry more were wounded, old man Bowles joined the scouts 
who went in pursuit and was in the massacre of Indians on the 
X/eona, an account of which is given elsewhere. In 1859 John 
Bowles moved and settled on the Leona, near where they had this 
fight. This was a very exposed place, no one else living near. 
Westf all had. lived down there but was gone. At this time Doke, 
who was married, had a ranch on the Blanco where the Wish 
ranch is now, and no other settlers were near. 

On the 28th day of October, 1859, happened one of those sad 
frontier tragedies which so often threw the settlers into great ex- 
citement. This was the killing of John Bowles and John Daven- 
port by the Indians. On the day before Doke Bowles and his 
wife took a horseback trip to the mountains, several miles away 
to the north, and returned late in the evening. On the way home 
they passed their herd of horses, which were quietly feeding, and 
they passed on to the house. The horses they had ridden were 
hobbled out, and they went jumping up the creek to join the 
others, about 300 yards or more away. About sundown Mr. 
Bowles picked up a rope and started to get a horse near by to go 
after the others, but changed his notion and came back. This 
surprised his wife and she asked the cause, and he said he did not 
know, but it seemed his legs refused to go any further, and that 
he was very uneasy from some cause, he could not tell what. 
About this time he looked up the road towards the settlement and 
•saw a man coming on horseback. He was glad to see the man, 
'and started to intercept him and have a talk, but the horse- 
man turned himself and come towards the house. It was Tom 
Wall, who lived in Frio Canyon, and was on his way home from 
San Antonio by way of Uvalde. He told Doke he was sick, and 

'DOKE" BOWLES. 38 1 : 

wanted to stay all night. "All right," said Bowles, "I am glad 
to have you stay, for I feel greatly depressed about something." 
By the time Wall's horse was staked out it was getting dark, and 
in a few minutes the stock horses came running in and the two 
saddle horses were not with them. The others stood about the 
yard the balance of the night. About daylight John Davenport 
rode np driving a yoke of oxen. He lived on the road at Ranch- 
eros Creek. This was the main road that ran from San Antonio 
towards Mexico. Davenport said to Bowles as soon as he came, 
"There are Indians around here. Did you know it?" Bowles 
replied, "I thought so." There was a large train encamped about 
300 yards from the house on the way to Mexico, and some of these 
men had just told Bowles that the Indians had been around all 
night trying to get their mules, and succeeded in getting one 
horse and one mule which had strayed off with drag ropes on. 
Davenport had started before day to get his oxen, as he knew 
where they ranged, and was now starting home with them and 
soon proceeded on his way. After sunup twelve men come from 
the Frio on the trail of the Indians. This was October 28th. 
These men said the Indians had come near getting some one on 
the Blanco, near the foot of the mountains, the evening before, 
but they had left their camp before the Indians got there. This 
was Doke and his wife, where they ate their noonday meal on 
their trip to the mountains. The Indians had followed them and 
caught their two hobbled horses after they returned. 

Mr. Bowles joined the Frio scout and took the trail of the In- 
dians, leaving a guard at his house. About 11 o'clock the scout 
rode to a hill, between the Blanco and Sabinal and looked over 
towards the Patterson settlement. Doke was in the lead on the 
trail and saw a man running his horse in their direction, and 
when in speaking distance he said the Indians had made a raid 
in the Patterson settlement and killed John Bowles, Doke's 
father, but the body could not be found. This was a severe blow 
to Doke, and a surprise, too, as he supposed his father was at his 
ranch on the Leona, many miles away to the southwest. This 
news was hardly told before another man was seen running his 
horse on the San Antonio road. He was signaled by the waving 
of hats, and. when he came he said the Indians had killed John 
Davenport between the Sabinal River and Rancheros Creek. He 
was on his wav from Doke's ranch, and was still driving his 







oxen. This man said the Indians had gone northwest towards 
the mountains after killing Davenport, and that John Bowles 
was missing and all were satisfied he was killed. Doke told him 
to go back and tell all of the connection to look for the body of 
his father, and he would follow the Indians. He led the scout, 
and went to John Kennedy's, on the Sabinal, where there was a 
little store, and laid in a. supply of provisions, which were packed 
on a mule, and then sent a runner to Lieut. W. B. Hazen, who 
was in command of Fort Inge, asking him to come with all the 
men he could spare and meet his scout at the mouth of Frio Can- 
yon. Doke and his party took the trail of the Indians where 
they killed Davenport, and followed it to the foot of the moun- 
tains on the Blanco, and here the Indians had made a halt, and 
here also Doke made the discovery that beyond a doubt his father 
was killed, and also aroused a spirit of revenge which made him 
furious to overtake the Indians and give them battle. This cer- 


tain proof of his father's death was the finding of his shoes, cov- 
ered with blood. When dark came the settlers lay down on the 
prairie and spent the night without water. On the 29th the trail 
was again taken up and followed to the Frio road, and kept that 
on out through the pass. On the way they come across some men 
who had seen the Indians in the distance, but thought they were 
the scouts. Lieutenant Hazen and his men now got with them, 
and also part of a minute company of citizens from Uvalde num- 
bering ten men. Hazen had thirteen, and these combined with 
the force under Bowles made forty-two in all. Among the set- 
tlers there were John Q. Daugherty, John Kennedy, James Mc- 
cormick, Ben Pulliam, Clabe Davenport, William Thomas, 
Frank Isbell, Nobe Griner, Arnold, Arnette, Everette, Williams, 
and others whose names are not now recalled. Daugherty was in 
command of the minute men, with Everette as second, and Lieu- 
tenant Hazen was in command of the whole. He told Daugherty 
to take the lead on the trail and follow it to the jumping-off 
place, and when they came upon the Indians he would take com- 
mand and lead. Williams was selected as trailer, and all moved 
forward at a good speed. Doke Bowles asked permission to con- 
sult with Williams and help trail, and it being granted, these two 
took the lead. The trail led across the canyons and sides of the 
mountains until the settlements were passed, and then it -kept the 
beds of the creeks. They camped that night on the river, and on 
the 30th the trail lead out to the head of the Main Frio. Here 
the Indians had left a bunch of horses as they came down on the 
raid, and which they now collected and carried along with them. 
They had been hobbled and left in a little valley, rough on all 
sides, so they could not get out. From the signs there were about 
fifty head of these, and this accession made the trail much 
plainer. Xoon was made at the Frio waterhole, and a dry camp 
that night on the plains. 

The trail now led across the prairie. Being plain, it was fol- 
lowed fast, and seventy-five miles were covered that day, no halt 
being made at noon, and the horses a good deal of the time in a 
gallop. Passed two fires where the Indians had stopped and 
cooked meat, the first since they commenced their retreat from 
the settlement. This day's trailing was very exciting. The 
prairie was in rolling swells, and as each crest was crossed all 
were eager to get to the next to look over, expecting each time 


to sight the Comanches. This long stretch of prairie was finally 
crossed, and they came to low hills and cedar brakes. Daugherty 
said halt. The water had given out, and had been for half the 
day. The men lay down and made a dry camp, too thirsty to 
eat. Daugherty said, "Boys, we are close upon them, and they 
have not discovered us yet." Bowles asked permission for him- 
self and Williams to take a scout and see Avhat was ahead. This 
was granted, and the two trailers went about two miles in the 
direction the trail pointed at dark, and then climbed a cedar tree, 
hoping to see their fire, but could see nothing and returned. 

At daybreak the trail was again taken up, and when they ar- 
rived at a point half a mile beyond where the trailers had climbed 
the tree the Indians were discovered in camp nearly a mile away, 
in a glade near a small cedar brake, and were saddling their 
horses. Williams suddenly exclaimed, "Yonder they are, boys." 
The citizens were in front and the soldiers next, led by Hazen; 
they traveled in this manner during the pursuit. When the 
alarm of Indians was raised in front Hazen came forward and 
at once ordered a charge, himself leading the way. It was a wild 
and disordered charge. Soldiers, settlers, and pack mules all 
went together with a terrible clatter, ' and everything was soon 
badly scattered and making the rocks and brush fly. The In- 
dians were taken by surprise and ran, but tried to carry the 
horses along with them. Being pressed for time, all were not able 
to mount a separate steed, and sprang behind others. One In- 
dian tried to rope horses for those afoot, and another went orT 
with just a loop over the nose of his horse. During all of this 
time the terrible charge was sweeping towards them and the 
Texans had begun to yell. The foremost ones soon closed in on 
the rear of the Indians. Bowles came close to one and jumped 
clown so as to get a good shot at him, but before he could do so 
the Indian tumbled from his horse, hit by a volley fired from the 
left. At this time Arnette came up to Doke, riding a race horse 
called "Fuzzy Buck," and proposed to exchange with him, as 
Bowles' horse was not as fast as his. He had agreed to do this if 
it was a running fight, so Doke could have a chance to kill an 

Bowles now mounted "Fuzzy Buck" and set out again after the 
Indians, who were now 200 yards ahead. Lieutenant Hazen was 
ahead now on a fast horse, holding his pistol in his hand, and 


eame close to an Indian, who turned with pistol also in hand and 
charged the lieutenant. Both fired together and at close range. 
The ball from the Indian's pistol struck Hazen in the right hand, 
knocked the pistol from his grasp, and then penetrated his breast 
and lodged against the backbone. His horse reared and fell back- 
ward, and then sprung to his feet and ran off, leaving his rider 
on the ground. The white men were badly scattered, and only 
those who rode the fastest horses could get into the fight. The 
Indians, although outnumbered by the whites, were game, and 
knew how to scatter their enemies and fight them in detail. A 
part of the Indians had left this bunch and gone another way. 
Bowles was coming up behind Hazen when he was shot from his 
horse, and as the Indian turned his horse to run again saw where 
the lieutenant hit him, but it was too low down, and he went on 
waving his pistol and yelling. The Indian who rode the horse 
without bridle or saddle ran to the left, and was pursued by John 
Kennedy and William Thomas. Kennedy fired and hit the In- 
dian in the back of the head, and he came tumbling from his 
horse. In the meantime Bowdes had dismounted by Hazen and 
turned him over, and feeling the bullet in his back, said, "There 
is one dead man, sure," and remounting w r ent on in the chase and 
soon came to the front again, and saw four Indians in sight. The 
second lieutenant of the minute men, Everette, was ahead of 
Bowles, and attacked the Indian who had just shot Lieutenant 
Hazen. Both had pistols, and when the Indian turned to face 
him the muzzles of the revolvers almost touched and both fired 
at once. Everette fell from his horse, with the hammer of his 
pistol shot off and wounded in the hand and mouth, all done with 
the same bullet. Two of his teeth were knocked out, and the 
ball lodged in his left temple. The Indian wheeled his horse, 
waved his pistol, and went on yelling. Bowles halted at the body 
of this second fallen man, and seeing blood running from his 
mouth again exclaimed, "Another dead man ! v The horse of 
Everette went on in the charge. 

There were now ahead of Bowles Ben Pulliam, William 
Thomas, and Arnold, and just ahead of them were two Indians 
on the same horse and all going at a breakneck speed. In cross- 
ing a deep ravine the hindmost Indian fell off in it, and as Ben 
Pulliam, who was in the lead, dashed in the Indian shot him in 
the bank with an arroAv after he passed. Pulliam fell from his 


horse and the Indian was killed by Arnold, who was coming close 
at hand, with a shotgun. The Indian died with his bow anc* 
another arrow in his hand. This was the finest-looking Indian 
in the lot. He was young, nearly white, and had fine, soft, black 
hair, and was profusely ornamented with beads, rings, and silver 
plates. He had John Davenport's pistol belt on, fastened to 
which hung the scalp of John Bowles. 

When Pulliam fell and Arnold shot the Indian, Thomas, who 
came next, dashed up the bank in pursuit of the mounted one and 
soon came alongside of him, and both commenced firing with 
pistols hand to hand. Thomas fired once and the Indian twice 
in quick succession, his balls glancing the thigh of Thomas and 
going into the front of his saddle not more than two inches apart. 
Thomas went out of sight in another gulley, and the Indian went 
on yelling and waving his pistol. "Another dead man,'' said 
Bowles, who saw it all as he came charging on. The Indian who 
shot the two lieutenants covered the retreat of the balance. He 
did the most of his bloody work that day with Davenport's pistol. 
When it was empty he threw it away and used arrows, and it was 
recovered. This Indian had been fired at more than a hundred 
times, and was now stripped completely naked and was bloody 
from head to foot, as was also his horse, but he continued to yell 
defiance to his foes and wave his pistol. He still carried his 
shield and had three pistols, all of which he emptied. When his 
pursuers would come close he would wheel his horse and make 
many motions with his pistol before firing, and keep the men 
dodging. The white men in the chase would only come up with 
the Indians two or three at a time, and so the fighting that was 
done was evenly matched. The horses of the settlers at this time 
were nearly all run down, and there were three Indians still in 
sight. Bowles now got a shotgun from Arnette, and leaving all 
behind chased the Indians alone, thinking he could run up close 
and kill two of them. He had emptied and reloaded and emptied 
his revolver several times, firing many shots at the noted Indian 
in the rear. When he came up close to the rear Indian with the 
shotgun all three were in line. Attempting now to fire, the gun 
snapped. There were no caps on the gun, and having to stop now 
to adjust some the Indians made a good spurt ahead. "Fuzzy 
Buck," however, soon overhauled them again, and the Indians 
in sheer desperation plunged down a steep bluff. Bowles came 


up and looked over and saw that it was about fourteen feet down, 
but not exactly perpendicular. He waited until some more of the 
men came up and they said it was too steep to go down on horses, 
and fired their guns at the Indians across the valley, but they 
were out of range. 

Bowles said where the Indians could go white men could, and 
plunged down, landing safely. Frank Isbell, Nobe Griner, and 
Williams followed, and these four went on after the Indians. In 
three miles Doke overtook and once more commenced the battle 
with them, firing both barrels of the shotgun. The Indians 
stayed together and sent arrows back, and yelled continually. 
The other men could not catch up. Bowles would stop and wait 
for them and get loaded pistols, and then on the racehorse come 
up with them again. In this way he fought them many miles. 
Williams had a very long-winded horse, and finally caught up 
and they both charged together. Doke fired the last load from 
the shotgun, and only had one in his pistol. The bloody Indian 
now turned back and charged Williams, who was coming to- 
wards him, and he dismounted to fight him with a pistol. The 
Indian also dismounted and faced him with bow and arrows, no 
longer having any loaded pistols. The fight commenced at six 
yards. Williams only fired one shot and received an arrow in 
the breast. He turned towards Bowles, and the Indian continued 
to drive them into him. "I'm killed, Doke," he said as he passed, 
and Bowles saw arrows sticking in his back. The Indian now 
•charged Bowles, who leveled his pistol at him and fired his last 
load, and then had to turn back and commence dodging arrows, 
as the Comanche still advanced. The Indian himself was in a 
terrible plight. He was covered with wounds, and the strap shot 
from his shield which held it in place, and it was gone. When he 
left Bowles and went back he mounted the horse of Williams and 
rode off yelling. Doke counted nine bullet holes in his body as 
he rode away, and his horse and saddle looked as if they had been 
dipped in blood. Fourteen bullets had hit the horse on the side 
that Bowles rode on and fired during the long chase. The Indian 
lay low on his horse while being fired at, and that accounts for 
the animal being hit so much. On this horse, which the Indian 
left standing nearly ready to sink to the ground when he mounted 
that of Williams, were the saddle rope and bridle of Doke's 
father, but his horse was still ahead, ridden by another Indian. 


The Indians could tell when Doke's loads were out, and would 
then turn and run him back, but being on a fast horse they could 
not catch him. Williams lost one of his pistols, which was on the 
horn of the saddle, when the Indian got his horse. 

Bowles watched the three Indians until they got to the top of a 
hill, where two of them dismounted and laid down, and it was 
afterwards learned from an Indian on a reservation that they 
died there, and the third one had a broken arm. Williams was 
put on a horse and carried slowly back. It was twenty miles back 
to where the fight commenced, and men were scattered all the 
way, — here and there a dead Indian and wounded white men. 
Most of the soldiers stopped with Lieutenant Hazen. The heavy 
cavalry horses of those who went on soon gave out, and none but 
the toughest Texas ponies could keep in sight of the Indians. 
No one had any water, and the wounded men nearly perished 
for it, but were finally relieved on the way back by men who were 
met on the trail with some. It was 12 o'clock when Bowles and 
the others started back with Williams. The bullet was cut out of 
the temple of Lieutenant Everette with a pocket knife. All the 
men hit were badly hurt, but none died. Judge James McCor- 
mick, who was in the fight and took a conspicuous part, volun- 
teered to go to Fort Clark, a distance of eighty miles, after 
surgical assistance for Lieutenant Hazen. In the meantime a 
camp was established and a guard left with Hazen, and the bal- 
ance of the men drifted back home. McCormick made the trip 
all right with' the surgeon, but had a race with Indians before 
arriving at the post. It took three days and nights to get back to 
the spot with a hack. He pulled spikes out of some of the men 
with his bullet moulds. It was found on examination of Lieu- 
tenant Hazen that the ball did not go directly through his body, 
but struck the breast bone and ranged round. He was first car- 
ried to Braokett, and then in about three weeks back to Fort 

During the chase Mr. Bowles noticed an Indian throw some- 
thing under a cedar tree which he thought was his father's scalp, 
not knowing at the time that the fancy Indian killed at the 
ravine had it. Doke hunted for it on the way back, and found 
that it was an old-fashioned reticule with a drawstring to close it 
up, that women used in those days, and that it contained four 
children's scalps, paint, poison, etc. 


On the way back, ten miles from where the battle commenced, 
a hunch of horses was discovered in a cove, standing still, about 
a mile away. Williams being wounded, Bowles was in charge 
as guide, and said the}' were Indians, and at once made prepara- 
tions to charge them. About this time also a large bear put in 
an appearance, and four of the men were detailed to charge the 
bear and the balance to charge the Indians. The men were very 
hungry, and did not want the bear to escape. The bear was fat 
and large, and was ample to last the men all the way back, they 
eating it without bread or salt. The horses taken to be Indians 
were brought back by Captain Daugherty and his crowd, who 
charged the supposed Indians. They were some of their own 
that had broken away from the battle. The paint horse which 
was ridden by one of the Indians, and which was wounded so 
many times, belonged to a man named Wheat, of Medina County, 
who was killed off of him by Indians on Black Creek. The set- 
tlers also got Wheat's coat, and the holes in it showed where the 
Indians shot him. His sons came to Uvalde when the men re- 
turned and claimed the property. One of them, Ira, was for long 
time sheriff of Edwards County. 

The body of John Bowles was found at a place called Guide 
Hill, six miles below where Sabinal station now is. He had come 
over the day before from his ranch on the Leona to hunt stock, 
and that night his horse was taken out of an inclosure by Indians. 
Thinking the horse had got out himself, he procured another at 
the place Avhere he was stopping in the Patterson settlement, and 
went to hunt him without his gun. The trail of the horse led 
toward Guide Hill. During part of this time he rode in com- 
pany with a frontier preacher named H. G. Horton, who was go- 
ing up the country, and he was the last white man that saw Mr. 
Bowles alive or talked to him. After parting company with Rev. 
Horton Mr. Bowles went to Guide Hill, and from close observa- 
tion of signs afterwards seen, the Indians had tied the horse in 
the brush on the side of the hill, but where he could be seen from 
the valley below, and secreted themselves near him and awaited 
for some one to come after him. They shot Mr. Bowles at ten 
steps distant with three arrows at once, which all struck near the 
left nipple, not more than an inch apart. This fact was ascer- 
tained by Doke finding his father's vest in the chase after the 
Indians, and the holes in it showed where the arrows struck. 


The Indians got his horse after he fell from him. A stone now 
marks the spot where he fell, with date of birth, death, manner of 
death, etc. 

Doke was an inveterate Indian hater, and trailed and scouted 
and fought them until 1879, when they made their last raids on 
this part of the frontier. The fight above described took place 
in the head draws of North Llano, in the edge of the plains, 200 
miles from Uvalde. 

This fight caused the rapid promotion of Lieutenant Hazen in 
the army, and he wore the shoulder straps of a general in the 
Union army during the civil war, and was connected with the 
signal service department after its close. He died in the early 
90 7 s, and in the fall of 1899 his widow married Admiral George 
Dewey, while the laurel was still green on his brow after his 
famous victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. 

W. M. BRAMLETT. 39 1 ; 


Mr. Bramlett has been in southwest Texas ever since 1849, 
and has had the experience, of all other frontiersmen — Indian 
fights, alarms, trailing, and scouting. 

In 1846, when the war with Mexico broke out, Mr. Bramlett 
was at his home in Virginia, and there enlisted for the war in 
the company of Capt. Montgomery Coarse, Company B, First 
Virginia Volunteers. Colonel Hamtinmoch commanded the 
regiment. Lieut. -Col. Thomas Randolph, of Virginia, was sec^ 
ond in command. He was related to the noted John Randolph, 
of Virginia. The command went round by water, and Mr. Bram- 
lett says they sailed by the coast of Cuba, and it was the greenest 
looking country- he ever saw. The grass came down to the water's 
edge, and beautiful green hills and prairies could be seen far 
back from the coast. The portion he saw was unsettled, no houses 
being seen. 

In Mexico they went to the army of General Taylor, and Mr. 
Bramlett participated in the battle of Buena Vista, being under 
the command of Col. Jefferson Davis, and was in many desperate 
charges during the all-day battle, and saw many men killed and 
wounded. During one severe fire Colonel Davis ordered the men 
into a ravine and came in himself on horseback. Mr. Bramlett 
noticed that one of the colonel's feet w T as partly shot off, and 
some of the men called his attention to it, but he said it was only 
a scratch, and then dismounted. He could hardly stand, and 
suffered a good deal with it. Colonels Clay, of Kentucky, and 
Yell, of Arkansas, were both killed, and after the battle Mr. 
Bramlett helped to bury them. They were buried in one grave. 
Both had gray hair, and wore the same kind of uniforms, and 
were buried in them, wrapped up close together. When they 
were taken up to be carried to their respective States to be rein- 
terred, Mr. Bramlett helped to take them up, and thinks it likely 
a mistake was made. He is certain that Clay was put on the 
north side and Yell on the south. There was a controversy as 
to which body was on the north side, and he thinks it might be 


possible that Clay was sent to Arkansas and Yell to Kentucky. 
Both were shot and lanced. 

Mr. Bramlett passed over the ground where the train was cap- 
tured by Mexicans and nearly all of the escort and teamsters 
killed. Many signs of the conflict were there. Here his com- 
mand killed the largest rattlesnake he ever saw. It was lying 
across the road, and its body was as large around as a man's 
leg and about seven feet in length. 

On one occasion, while himself, Calvin S. Turner, and others 
were on a scout they discovered six Indians camped in open 
ground, and charged and killed all of them before they could 
get to cover. Two got into the edge of a thicket. 

Mr. Bramlett came from Mexico after the war and settled in 
southwest Texas, and has been there ever since. After Big Foot 
Wallace got too old to live alone he lived with Mr. Bramlett in 
Frio County, near Big Foot postoffice. 




Some time in the month of March, 1851, While Lieutenant 
Walker, of Capt. John S. Ford's company of rangers was scout- 
ing with a few men on the Arroyo Gatto (Cat Creek), about 
sixty miles southeast from Laredo, they came upon a band of hos- 
tile Indians fifteen in number. The rangers at once charged 
them, and in the first onset four of the Indians were killed and 
the others ran and were pursued for some distance, and two 
more killed. The Indians made a poor fight, and the rangers 
suffered no loss. They captured sixty-nine head of mules and one 
pony. Among the men along were Robert Rankin, Vol. Round- 
tree, David Steele, John Walker, Andrew Gatliff, Marvin E. Mc- 
Neill, Albert Gallatin, — Brown, and others not now remem- 

Xow, about this time Lieut. Ed Burleson was on his way from 
San Antonio with a scout of rangers going to Laredo, and came 
upon this same band of defeated Indians on the following day 
and had. another fight with them about twenty-five miles from 
Laredo. This time, however, the Indians made a most desperate 
fight, and the rangers had all on their hands that they could 
manage. They were evenly matched as to numbers — nine In- 
dians and nine rangers. The names of some of the rangers be- 
sides the commander were Baker Barton, William Lackey, James 
Carr, Alf. Tom, Warren Lyons, and a German whose name was 
something like Mille. 

The Indians were on the open prairie, and when the rangers 
charged them they did not run, and a hand-to-hand fight com- 
menced. Pistols, rifles, arrows, and lances got in their deadly 
work at close quarters, and for a time it seemed as if the rangers 
would be defeated. The Indians would yell and charge the rang- 
ers whenever they would get scattered in the fight by their horses 
running or rearing in fright. The terrible conflict ended in a 
drawn battle. The rangers held the ground, but all of their men 
were killed or wounded except two. The Indians finally rode 
away, leaving four of their warriors dead on the ground and all 


the others wounded. Of the rangers, Baker Barton was killed, 
William Lackey was killed, and Lieutenant Burleson, Alf . Tom, 
James Carr, Warren Lyons, and the. German were wounded. 
Lyons had once been a prisoner among the Indians. He was 
captured near Lyonsville, in Lavaca County, at an early clay. 
The rangers who were able to do anything had a hard time get- 
ting their dead and wounded to Laredo. 

Alf. Tom was wounded in the leg by an arrow, and when it 
was withdrawn the spike remained, but was not noticed at the 
time, as the man who pulled it out threw it down without look- 
ing at it. The wound would never heal, and two years after it 
was sore and running corruption. He got his brother, Capt. 
John Tom, to examine it, and the spike was discovered and cut 
out. The wound then healed all right. 



The above was the original name of the beautiful valley now- 
known as Sabinal (Cypress) Canyon. It is situated about ninety 
miles a little north of west from San Antonio and is partly in 
Uvalde and Bandera counties, the northern half being in the 
latter. It is about twenty-five miles in length and from three 
to eight miles in width. The Sabinal River runs through its 
center, skirted on both sides with pecan, cypress, cedar, and other 
timbers. The land is black and very productive, yielding fine 
crops of corn, cotton, oats, wheat, potatoes, etc. Occasional 
severe droughts is one great drawback to farming. Utopia, the 
principal village, is situated about midway of the valley, twenty- 
two miles from Sabinal station, its nearest railroad point, and 
forty miles from Uvalde, the county seat. 

This beautiful valley was once the home of the Comanche In- 
dians. Long before the white man made his appearance they 
lived here, had numerous villages, and roamed at will over the 
mountains in pursuit of game, or fished and bathed in the clear 
waters of the river. Numerous mounds and stone arrow-heads 
tell the tale of their presence. 

The question has often been asked how the county of Uvalde 
obtained her pretty musical name. I will say that it was named 
for Colonel Uvalde of the Mexican army, who defeated the Co- 
manche Indians in a great battle in this valley. Long before 
the white man came near enough from the east to meet the rude 
shock of the western Indians the Mexican pioneers along the Rio 
Grande had to contend with them. The town of Laredo .was 
founded in 1757, and ranches were extended between that place 
and the Nueces, and during the last quarter of the century above 
mentioned many herds of cattle, horses, and sheep grazed there. 
The first ranch on the Rio G-rande was that of Barrego, at a place 
called Dolores, twenty-five miles below Laredo. These settle- 
ments and fat stock attracted the attention of the roving bands 
of Comanches, and numerous raids were made from these moun- 
tain strongholds and the stock driven off. To check these raids 
and to punish the Indians, Colonel Uvalde of the Mexican army 



was ordered by his government to take a large force and follow 
these marauding bands to their strongholds and drive them out 
with fire and sword. Uvalde was a brave and energetic officer, 
and at once set out to carry his orders into effect. With expert 
scouts and trailers a band was pursued across the country to- 
wards the Sabinal mountains, and it is likely that Uvalde and 
his men passed over the spot on which is now situated the town 
of Uvalde, then across the Frio and Uvalde prairie to the mouth 
of what is now Sabinal Canyon, where is situated a dense cedar 
brake. Here information was received that the Indians were in 
large force in the canyon and had many villages and much stock. 
Uvalde's force consisted of about 600 or TOO men, and the 
Indians were capable of bringing 1000 warriors into the fight. 
The Mexican commander pushed on, and instead of trying to 
conceal his movements began to fire the villages which he first 
found on passing the cedar brake and entering the canyon. 
These, however, had been deserted. The first one was at a place 
now called the Blue waterhole, on the west bank of the river, at 
the extreme entrance of the south end of the canyon. Xo In- 
dians were as yet in sight, but they were concentrating further 
up the valley, where the greatest confusion prevailed. Crowds of 
squaws and children were fleeing north up the canyon, and war- 
riors were coming south from the upper villages to meet and fight 
the invaders. There has been some doubt as to where the final 
battle was fought. There was a tradition among the early settlers 
of the valley that it occurred below the present site of Utopia, 
along the brakes of the river, across the land now owned by Mr. 
Tampke. On one occasion a young man named Harly Martin 
told the writer he believed he had found a place where a battle 
had been fought. I asked him why so, and he said on account of 
the numerous bullets he had found there. I examined the balls 
and found there two sizes — the large ounce ball and buckshot. 
This was the kind of ammunition used in those days by the Mexi- 
can soldiers, and they fired them out of a short musket called an 
escopet. They were done up in paper cartridges, and called "buck 
and ball" by the Americans. The ounce ball was in front and 
three buckshot behind it. The Mexicans used the same kind of 
cartridges when they fought the Texans at the battle of San 
Jacinto. Also a few copper balls were found. I at once asso- 


eiated this place with Uvalde's battleground. It is situated four 
miles below Utopia on the west bank of the river, several hundred 
yards from the stream, on a low hill which is the extreme south 
end of the divide between Salt marsh and the river. It is now in 
the pasture of Mr. John Kincaid, of Uvalde. Five hundred yards 
north of this ridge is another higher hill, part of the same divide, 
with a timbered valley between. Here also bullets were found, 
but not so many as on the first hill mentioned. On towards the 
river and across the field of Mr. Tampke other signs of the battle 
were seen — bullets, arrow-heads, etc. I made a close examina- 
tion of these places in company with my brother, Mr. P. S. Sow- 
ell, of Seguin, and concluded beyond a doubt that this was the 
famous field of strife. My son, Lee, who was also along, found a 
human tooth. 

Here then the fierce, painted warriors assembled to try issues 
with their no less dusky foes. It was a fine position to make a 
stand, for the view to the south was unobstructed to the mouth of 
the canyon, six miles away. The Indians could see the smoke of 
the burning villages below and the advancing Mexicans. When 
Uvalde's men arrived at the point of the hill and commenced the 
assault the battle must have been long and fierce. Thousands of 
musket balls must have fallen like hail on the hill, from the 
amount of them found there at this late day. Of course those that 
fell in the flats have long since been covered up by decaying vege- 
tation. After a hard rain is the best time to find the balls on the 
hill, for they are moved out of place and sometimes are found 
lying clearly exposed on flat rocks. This first hill was finally 
carried, and the Comanches retreated across the flat and made a 
stand on the next ridge, but evidently not of long duration, for 
not many bullets are found here. The rout of the Indians being 
now complete, they broke away from here and went down the 
steep bluff on the north side of the hill and scattered along the 
banks of the river. 

Uvalde pursued the Indians relentlessly for twenty miles, in 
fact until he drove them out of the canyon and on to the rocky 
divide along the brakes of the Llano, burning all of the villages 
and taking all the stock that could be secured. The squaws and 
papooses were scattered for many miles through the brakes and 


At this time the Apaches lived in the Medina valley and their 
stronghold was around the Bandera Pass, as it is now called. A 
force sent out from San Antonio under General Bandera de- 
feated and drove them away. 

After Uvalde's fight the canyon was called by his name. I saw 
a deed to some property in Utopia which read, "Being and sit- 
uated in the Canyon de Uvalde, in the town of Montania." Mon- 
tania was the name of the place until changed to the one it now 
bears. When the country settled the name of the valley was 
changed, but the county and county seat retained it. 



Attacked by a Band of Comanche Warriors — "Nig-ger" Jim's 
Perilous Trip for Water— A Texan's Deadly Rifle Shot. 

There is a place on the divide between Dry and Main Frio 
where is a circular pile of rocks resembling an old fortification. 
These rocks had been placed there at an early day by the hand of 
man. The fort, which I call this rude structure, was built on the 
south side of the hill which slopes towards the Main Frio. It 
makes a complete circle except a gap at the lower end which had 
been left for a place of entrance. Some of the stones are very 
large and would have required the united efforts of a dozen men 
to put them in place. The height of the rock wall when first built 
would have covered a man to the neck, and would have been an 
admirable place to stand off a band of Indians, which no doubt 
was the purpose for which it was constructed. 

When the writer first discovered this place many years ago, al- 
though it was known to the old settlers years before that, I made 
a critical examination of the surroundings to see if I could de- 
termine the cause for building this rude fort in such an out of the 
way place. I half suspected it had been done by gold or silver 
hunters, and soon this fact was verified. I noticed the entrance 
to the fortification was on the lower side toward the foot of the 
hill and opposite a small cedar brake, as if men would come from 
that point to enter it in case of danger. As soon as I entered the 
cedar brake above mentioned the problem was solved at once. I 
saw an immense pile of soil banked up, and near it a shaft. It 
was near the base of the hill, not a hundred yards from the fort, 
near the head of a ravine. It was an old mine, either of gold, 
silver, or lead, and had been worked many years before. The 
entrance into the shaft was down a flight of ten steps cut in the 
soil, which time and the action of water pouring into it during 
heavy rains had not effaced. At the bottom of the steps the ex- 
cavations extended west under the hill upon which the fort was 
built. I did not penetrate it far, on account of having no light. 
A great deal of the soil which had been taken out had washed 
m to the ravine, which run east towards the Main Frio. On the 


mound of soil near the entrance to the shaft grew cedar trees as 
large as a man's body, indicating a period prior to the advent of 
the Texas pioneers into these mountains, when the country was 
full of hostile Indians. The fort on the side of the hill com- 
manded all approaches to the mine, and a signal from the lookout 
which 1 suppose was kept there would bring the workmen into the 
inclosure in a short time. 

bowie's battle. 

In surmising in regard to who worked this mine I at first con- 
cluded it was Spaniards or Mexicans, but finally connected this 
place to my own satisfaction with the famous Texan, Col. James 
Bowie, and the time about 1831. I recollected hearing my father 
tell of a circumstance which he heard Colonel Bowie relate in 
Gonzales, in substance as follows : That on one occasion about 
the time of the above date, while prospecting for gold or silver in 
the mountains west of San Antonio, he had sunk a shaft where 
there were indications of silver. He had about thirty men with 
him, and anticipating attacks from Indians, they fortified their 
camp by piling up large rocks. Their position commanded every 
approach to their camp and shaft, and also a spring of water 
something more than a hundred yards distant at the foot of the 
hill. While engaged here working in this shaft they were sud- 
denly attacked one morning by a large body of Comanches. 
Bowie and his men at once took refuge in their fortification, and 
the battle commenced with great fury. The Indians, however, 
were soon driven to cover in the ravines and among the rocks by 
the deadly fire of Bowie's men. The fight lasted all day, each 
party firing as opportunity offered. During the day, however, 
Bowie's men drank up all their water, and began to suffer very 
much with thirst. The Indians, from their position in the ra- 
vines and rocks, commanded the spring, and it was almost as 
much as a man's life was worth for anyone to venture near it. 
If the men all sallied from the fort they would be overpowered 
by the superior force of the savages ; but something must be clone 
to relieve their thirst, if possible. 



Now, Colonel Bowie owned a strong young negro man named 
Jim, who was now with him. 

"Jim/' says Bowie, turning to the negro, who was keeping his 
head below the level of the fortress, "I want you to take the can- 
teens and bring us some water from the spring/' 

"No, sar, Mars Jim; couldn't think of sech a ting. Dem ole 
Injuns is a layin' dar in dem rocks and bushes an' dey can git up 
from dar an' kill dis nigger fo' you could say scat twice, and be- 
to' I could half fill dem canteens. No, sar ; can't go." 

Bowie looked at the negro with his keen, piercing eye, and 
said : "Jim, which are you the most afraid of, me or those In- 
dians ?" 

"Well, now," says Jim as he caught the meaning of the eye 
and question, "if you 'sist on me goin, ob cose I'll go, if de boys 
is bound to have some water befo' dey can whip de Injuns, an' 
you 'sist on me goin' den I'll voluntare my service. Hunt up 
dem canteens. I'm off." 

Bowie now told Jim he need not fear, as they could protect 
him with their rifles from the fort while he was getting the water. 
It seems the Indians were not expecting anyone to make an at- 
tempt to get to the water, and evidently did not see him when he 
left the inclosure • in fact, they had to keep well hid themselves, 
as the least exposure of their person brought a Avhizzing rifle ball 
from the fort. The negro advanced to the spring, rilled the can- 
teens, and was starting back before the Indians discovered him. 
They now, however, set up a terrible yelling and commenced 
shooting at him, which also drew the fire from the fort, as several 
of the Indians had shown themselves. Jim now commenced run- 
ning as best he could with the canteens dangling about him and 
several Indians in pursuit, notwithstanding several of their num- 
ber fell before the deadly aim of Bowie's rifles. All ran back 
except one burly savage, who dropped his empty gun and pulling 
his tomahawk ran close to Jim, intending to strike him down 
w T ith that. 

Jim now began to get thoroughly frightened and sang out, 
"0 Mars Jim, shoot dis Injun here ! He gwine to hurt somebody 
here d'rectly." 



Bowie's gun was empty, but he was rapidly ramming a ball, 
when a rifle cracked from the lower edge of the inclosure and 
the Indian fell back so suddenly his feet flew up in the air. Jim, 
who was running and watching -the Indian at the. same time, 
again shouted out, "Never mind now, Mars Jim. Mars Bob done 
knock his heels higher n his head." 

The negro soon arrived safe in the fort, puffing and blowing, 
but unhurt, and bringing all the canteens with him. 

"Now, Mars Jim," he said between breaths, "make dis water 
go fur as possible. It won't take much mo 1 dis kind a work to 
be one nigger less in dis big wide world. De wool lacked a flew 
dat time. All dat kept dat big, ugly debbil frum puttin' dat 
hatchet on my head cause Mars Bob hold him load back and make 
de bullet cum straight. Ha ! ha ! ha ! You orter hear him grunt 
when dat piece lead took him kerchug." 

The "Mars Bob v to whom Jim here alludes was Robert Arm- 
strong, one among the bravest and best rifle shots of the men that 
followed the fortunes of Bowie. The negro either knew the crack 
of his gun or saw him when about to fire, as he kept turning his 
head alternately from the fort to the Indian as he ran and called 
for help. It was Armstrong who shot the Indian through the 
head as he was attempting to fire the grass around them during 
Bowie's terrible fight in the San Saba hills while in search of a 
gold mine up there in the following year. 

This negro lived for many years after the death of Colonel 
Bowie in the Alamo, and went by name of "Black Jim Bowie/' 

On this present occasion the Indians withdrew when night 
came, and nothing more was seen of them. This place is 100 
miles west of San Antonio. 

Since the writer visited this old mine parties have been at 
work there opening up the old shaft, which had been greatly filled 
up by the washing in of soil and small rocks. They brought to 
light twelve more of those steps alluded to, and then come to the 
top of a cedar ladder. When the bottom of this was reached it 
was found to be twenty feet long, and at its foot lay a pick. It 
was short and heavy and was made on an anvil, as the hammered 
spots indicated. It is not known if any thing in the way of pay- 
ing ore was found. 



Guadalupe County was originally a part of Gonzales, which 
latter was settled by colonists from the United States under 
Green De Witt, who contracted among others with the Mexican 
government, who then owned the country, to bring and settle a 
given number of families at various places which were assigned 

These contractors were called empresarios, or emperors on a 
small scale, and the magistrates of the towns were called alcaldes. 
For their services in bringing and settling the families the con- 
tractors received fifteen leagues and two labors (labores) each, 
or 66,774 acres of land. Each immigrant who was the head of a 
family received one league and a labor of land, which was called 
his headright. A league of land contains 4428 acres, and a labor 
contains 177 acres. Each head of a family could make his own 
selection for a place to locate his headright. 

De Witt selected a spot on the Guadalupe Eiver one mile below 
its confluence with the San Marcos River to plant his first colon- 
ists and build a town. In 1825 the first colonists arrived with the 
surveyor James Kerr, and went to work. Among these were — 
Berry, Edward Morehouse, Henry S. Brown, Elijah Stapp, John 
Wightman, — Durbin, and Erastus Smith, afterwards known 
as "Deaf" Smith, the famous spy and scout of the Texas army.. 
This first installment was broken up by the Indians, and Wight- 
man killed and Durbin severely wounded. By the year 1830 the 
settlement was firmly established, and in 1832 the town named 
Gonzales, for Raphael Gonzales, Provisional Governor of Texas, 
as was also the county, which at that time extended to the line of 
Bexar, including all of the territory of what is now Guadalupe 

Amonsr the families which came in 1829 were those of John 


Sowell, grandfather of the writer, and his son-in-law, Humphrey 
Branch. As most of the best land in the vicinity of Gonzales had 
been taken up, these two came on up the Guadalupe River in 
search of a location, and passed over the spot where Seguin is 
now in 1 831. At the mouth of the Comal River thev turned back. 


Branch located his league and labor on the spot where Seguin is 
now situated, and John Sowell located his league in the bend of 
the river below, now known as the Stuart Bend, but reserved his 
labor and located it at the mouth of what is now called Sowell's 
Creek, where it empties into the Guadalupe, six miles below 

The next fall or winter they both moved from Gonzales and 
settled on SowelFs Creek and commenced clearing land. Their 
nearest neighbors were at Gonzales, and no white family lived 
west of them. 

In 1833 the Sowell boys — Andrew, William, Louis, John, and 
Asa — raised the first corn ever raised by white men within the 
present limits of Guadalupe County. It was planted between the 
creek bottom and the river, in what is now the Lay farm, and 
about forty bushels per acre were gathered. 

Other colonists came in during the year and settled on the 
river above the mouth of Mill Creek, among whom were Dick- 
inson, Baker, Tomlinson, Montgomery, and others. In this year 
also Humphrey Branch moved up and settled on his league. His 
house stood on the spot now known as the Neill place, but was 
called by him "Elm Spring Hill." 

At this time the prairie stretched away from the river with- 
out a bush to obstruct the view as far almost as the eye could, 
reach, dotted here and there with small motts of liveoaks. At 
times vast herds of buffalo could be seen crossing the prairie 
north and coming towards the river. At times they would stam- 
pede, and the noise of their running resembled an approaching 
hurricane. Walnut branch at that time was a rushing torrent 
fed by a large spring at its head, which sent a perfect sluice of 
water to the river. 

The settlers in the meantime at the mouth of the two creeks 
were doing well and thought they were settled in permanent 
homes. Some had milk cows, game was in abundance, and liv- 
ing cheap. The country also abounded in dangerous wild ani- 
mals, such as bears, panthers, Mexican lions, and tigers. Often 
on moonlight nights grandfathers family could see bears cross- 
ing the open flats between the creek and river bottom. On one 
occasion Mrs. Baker was coming up the river to a neighbor's 
house when she was suddenly confronted in the trail by a fero- 
cious-looking animal. The woman was badly frightened, and 


after setting the dogs upon it which were following her, turned 
and ran back. The dogs were badly whipped, and one of them 
killed. The next morning James Tomlinson killed a large tiger 
near the carcass of the slain dog. On another occasion a large 
bear ran through grandfather's yard in daylight, but did no harm 
except to give the small children and women a scare, the boys 
being gone. A panther also came one night and took a pig out 
of a pen in the rear of the house, but the boys and dogs gave him 
such a hot chase he was compelled to drop it and take to a tree 
in the creek bottom, where he was killed. One morning a settler 
went out to hunt and was never seen or heard of again. His dog 
come back on the following day, badly torn and mangled. About 
this time two of the Moore children were lost, girls eight and ten 
years of age. They went out in the evening to drive up the cows, 
but never returned. Diligent search was made for them many 
days but without success. Andrew Sowell hunted sixteen days 
for them. On York's Creek he found a small bit of the dress 
worn by one of the girls, which had been torn off by a thorny 
bush. At the time the little girls disappeared an old blind horse 
on the place was also missing, and it was believed the children 
had managed to mount this horse to search for the cows and. had 
lost their way. This old horse, was also found by Andrew Sowell 
on York's Creek, near the "Big Thicket." Whether they were 
carried off by Indians or perished in the woods no one could ever 

For some time after the settlement commenced at Sowell's 
Creek no signs of Indians were seen, but one day a hunter came 
in and reported that Indians were in the vicinity, for that day 
he had crossed the trail of a red man. This news caused some 
uneasiness, and the settlers were ever on the alert. Things went 
on in this w T ay for some days, when suddenly a band of Indians 
boldly entered the settlement. They professed friendship and 
camped and hunted several days on the river, but when they de- 
parted two horses were missing out of the neighborhood. It was 
believed that the Indians got them, and Andrew Sowell, James 
Tomlinson, Montgomery, and two others armed themselves and 
went in search of the missing horses. At the mouth of Mill 
Creek in the river bottom they found the horses in the possession 
of two Indians. They were disarmed and taken into custody and 
carried to the house of Dickinson, near the spot where the farm 


house of Thomas D. Johnson afterwards stood, on the west bank 
of Mill Creek. Here the settlers who had captured the Indians 
proposed to try the Indians and come to some understanding as 
to what disposition to make of them. Dickinson was not at home, 
and after some consultation these men passed a law among them- 
selves that the punishment of all horse-thieves, whether white or 
red, should be death, and at once carried, the Indians off to 
execute them. Mrs. Dickinson implored them not to kill them 
near her house. It was then decided to carry them across a ravine 
to a grove of timber on elevated ground. As they walked along 
Montgomery was on the right of the largest Indian. They knew 
what was in store for them, and commenced conversing in a low 
tone in the Indian dialect. Andrew Sowell was closely watching 
them as they talked, and was satisfied from their actions that they 
were going to make a desperate attempt to escape, and although 
disarmed, warned Montgomery not to walk too near the big In- 
dian. By this time they were nearing the place of execution. 

"All right,'' said Montgomery, in answer to the warning; "I 
am watching him, and if he makes a move I will plug him.'* 
These words had scarcely left his lips when the Indian, with a 
motion almost as quick as lightning, drew a long knife from 
somewhere about his person and plunged it to the hilt in Mont- 
gomery's breast, who sank to the earth without a groan, and ex- 
pired in a few moments. Both Indians now made a quick leap 
and ran. Three shots were fired almost together, and the big 
Indian, the one who killed Montgomery, fell dead before he had 
gone a dozen yards; but the men in their hurry and confusion 
shot one of their own number, wounding him severely in the leg. 
The other Indian was not hit and was about to escape, when one 
of the men snatched up the dead man's gun and at a distance of 
more than one hundred yards shot the Indian dead in his tracks. 
This occurred in the timber south of the widow Patterson's 

After this occurrence the Indians did not show themselves, but 
prowled about the country and their tracks were frequently seen. 
One evening as two of the youngest Sowell boys, John and Asa, 
the ] after being the youngest and father of the writer, were out 
after the cows they saw an Indian secrete himself ahead of them, 
evidently with the intention of killing or capturing them. Terror 
lent wings to their feet, and they soon arrived at home and tolcl 


the news. Search was made for the Indian, but he could not be 

There were no mills of any kind in the settlement, and John 
Sowell made a mortar to pestle corn in. This was a heavy liveoak 
log (short) with a cavity chiseled in the end of it sufficient to 
hold several quarts of corn. It was set on end and the corn beaten 
into coarse meal with a wooden pestle, having nails driven thickly 
in the end of it. Years afterwards, when this property came into 
the possession of Mr. Wilson Lay, this old mortar was still to be 
seen there. Mr. Mitty Lay told the writer that he remembered 
seeing it many times. An attempt was made by some of the 
younger Sowell s to recover it in after years as a relic, but it could 
not be found. 

On account of Indians and trouble brewing with the Mexicans 
this settlement was broken up, and by the year 1835 they were 
all back at Gonzales. Branch left his place and came to SowelPs 
Creek and they went back together, and for several years no 
human being crossed the spot where Seguin now stands except 
it were Indians or fugitive Mexicans from the battlefield of San 

The Mexicans commenced the trouble by sending a company 
of men to demand a small cannon which was in the possession of 
the settlers at Gonzales. They refused to give it up, with the 
excuse that their alcalde was absent, and the matter would be 
referred to him on his return. This was done to gain time, al- 
though the chief magistrate was absent. That evening eighteen 
men assembled under arms, runners were sent to other settle- 
ments for reinforcements, and a boy named John Gaston 
ascended a tall tree to watch the Mexicans. This gallant boy was 
killed the following year in the Alamo when it was stormed by 
the Mexican army, as was also Almon Dickinson, one of the first 
settlers in the present limit of Guadalupe County. 

We will not go into the details of the war for Texas independ- 
ence, the flight of the settlers before Santa Anna, and the great 
victory at San Jacinto, which is a matter of Texas history, and 
is mentioned incidentally in some of the sketches of old veterans 
in other parts of this work. I will here, however, give the names 
of those who had gotten back to Gonzales up to 1838, many of 
whom were citizens of Guadalupe County after it was made such, 
to wit : Judge McClure, Mr. Havens, the Lockharts, the De 


Witts, Simon Bateman, Ben Duncan, the Hodges, Colonel King, 
J. D. Clements, Widow Rowe (husband killed in Alamo), — 
Fraiser, Geo. W. Davis, Almon Cottle, the Berrys, Daniel Davis, 
John Clark, I. J. Good, Eli Mitchell, Matthew Caldwell, James 
Patrick, Adam Zumwalt, Ezekiel Williams, E. Bellinger, Miles 
Dikes, the Sowells, the Darst and Nichols families, Wm. A. 
Matthews, Dr. John T. Tinsley, Widow Fuqua (husband killed in 
the Alamo), Maj. Y. Bennett, Henry and Ben McCulloch 
(brothers), John McCoy, Wilson and Barney Handle (brothers), 
Arthur Swift, the Smiths, Kings, Days, V. Henderson, James 
H. Calahan (escaped from Fannin's massacre), John S. Saump, 
Baskes and Rhodes, Mitchell Putnam, — Kinkennon, William 
Morrison, Aulcy Miller, Kit Ackland, Clem Hines, Eli Hankins, 
Nathan Burkett, Simon Gockerell. — AYolfin, — Cooksey, — 
Hoskins, George Edwards, Arch Gibson, John Archer, Arch 
Jones, Josh. Threadgil], W. B. Hargess, — Grubbs, — Baker, R. 
Miller, John Miller, — Killin, C. C. Colley, — ■ Fraiser, Pony 
Hall, and Robert Hall. All of these did not live in the town of 
GonzaJes, but in the colony in and around the town, and many 
of them were in the battle of San Jacinto. 

By this time the settlers had again pushed out towards the 
west, and the smoke from the white man's cabin once more 
floated over the green liveoaks on the spot where Seguin now 
stands. As we have before stated, Humphrey Branch built a 
house -here in 1833. The next one was built by Robert Hall six 
years after. It stood on Walnut branch, not far from the spot 
where Judge Doc Douglas afterwards settled. Humphrey Branch 
sold his league of land here and never returned any more. In 
1838 three Mexican families lived in the vicinity of Seguin. 
Manuel Flores and Jose M. Cardinus lived on the south side of 
the river and had large ranches on the property afterwards owned 
by Gen. William Saffokl. Antonio Navarro and Luciano Navarro 
had ranches north of town on the San Geronimo Creek, where 
Ewing Springs is now. Before any settlements were made here 
Ben McCulloch was in command of a company of rangers and 
stationed at Walnut Springs, now almost in the heart of the city 
of Seguin, for the defense of Gonzales County against Indians. 

Guadalupe County takes its name from the Guadalupe River, 
which derived its name from a shrine in Mexico, "Maestro Dona 
de Guadalupe'' ("Our Lady of Waurloopa"). Most of the early 


settlers called the river "The Warloop." The county was not 
organized until 1846, and was up to that time known as Gonzales 
County. It is bounded on the north by Comal, Hays, and Cald- 
well ; Wilson on the south, Gonzales on the east, and Bexar on the 
west. The first Americans who settled in the county after the 
battle of San Jacinto were Henry and Ben McCulloch, Andrew 
Xeill, Colonel Young, Andrew Sowell, John Sowell, Asa Sowell, 
John Nichols, James Nichols, Tom Nichols, Soloman Nichols, 
Milford Day, Soloman Brill, James H. Calahan, William S. 
Turner and his sons, William, Calvin, Hardin, and John. Then 
there were the Mays, Johnsons, Smiths, Olivers, Toms, Jones, 
Wilson Handle, Hopple, T. N. Menter, Boyds, Kings, Hender- 
son, and others. The first families were few in number, and 
drawn closer together by their isolation. They were sociable, 
free-hearted, and respected, and were ever ready to aid and assist 
those who needed it. They depended on each other in time of 
clanger. Soon after the first settlers many others came and occu- 
pied the rich bottom prairie lands. 

The county seat of Guadalupe County was laid out in 1838. 
Its first document is dated "the 12th of August, 1838, Gonzales 
County, Republic of Texas." Henry and Ben McCulloch, Arthur 
Swift, J. A. Martin, Matthew Caldwell, and James Campbell 
were instrumental in laying out the town on the eastern half of 
the Humphrey Branch league, situated on the north side of the 
river, half way between the town of Gonzales and the city of San 
Antonio, being thirty-six miles to each. This tract of land was 
•divided into four classes of lots, which w r ere located in the center 
of the tract from east to west. It was first laid off into fifty-six 
blocks two hundred feet square, with a seventy-foot street be- 
tween each block; the second center blocks were designated as a 
public and market square, and the blocks fronting this square 
were divided into ten lots, the remainder of the blocks were di- 
vided into eight lots. Outside of these blocks was a tier of blocks 
of one-acre lots, and that portion of the tract fronting the river 
was laid off into five-acre lots. The northern being much the 
largest portion of the tract, it was laid off into twelve-acre lots 
and called farm lots, and the said lots were then divided in forty- 
four shares. J. S. Martin, then being the owner of the land, re- 
served ten shares, and the remainder were sold to the following 
parties : Arthur Swift, W. W. Killen, H. P. King, Barney Ran- 


die, John R, King, Wilson Handle, P. E. Beall, Abe Roberts, P. 
Martin, W. Clinton, J. Roberts, J. A. Swift, Milford Day, An- 
drew Xeill, W. A. Hall, Matthew Caldwell, M. Cody, W. Cody, 
A. S. Emmett, John Russell, Miles Dikes, G. W. Nichols, J. W. 
Mehols, Cyrus Crosby, French Smith, H. G-. Henderson, R. St. 
Clair, Andrew Sowell, W. S. Beebe, Kelley Matthews, and Robert 

On the 22d of September, 1838, the shareholders met, and 
after arranging the preliminaries, proceeded to draw their lots, 
Avhich was done by placing the number of shares on slips of paper, 
and the lots were arranged in the same manner, and these were 
placed in a hat and drawn out by Asa J. L. Sowell, then a' youth 
17 years of age. The names of the shareholders were then called 
out after the drawing. The town was then named Walnut 
Springs, taking its name from the many walnut trees which 
grew along the margin of the spring branches. 

The lots were to be sold for $50, and each shareholder was to 
build a house in the town and settle either in person or by proxy. 
Some of the shareholders failing to comply with the terms of 
contract, their shares were sold to others on the 23d of February, 

On the 25th of February, 1839, another council was held, at 
which they changed the name of the town. Seven voted it be 
called Tuscumbia and eighteen Seguin, in honor of Col. Juan N". 
Seguin, a Mexican, who was at that time a fast friend of the 
Americans and fought with them for the independence of Texas, 
and commanded a small company of his countrymen at the battle 
of San Jacinto. Some years later, for some fancied or real griev- 
ance, he turned traitor to Texas and moved with his family to 
Mexico, and returned with the invading army of General Wall 
and fought against the Texans at the battle of Salado. 
i As soon as the settlement commenced at Seguin it attracted 
the attention of the hostile bands of Indians who roamed in the 
wilds of the great West. The leading Indian fighters at that 
time were Ed. Burleson, Jack Hays, Henry and Ben McCulloch, 
Matthew Caldwell, and James H. Callahan. 

Grandfather John Sowell died at Gonzales soon after return- 
ing at the close of the war with the Mexicans. William was 
killed there in a difficulty, Louis died there, and Andrew, John,. 


and Asa, his boys, came and settled on their league below Se- 

Soon after the settlement was made at Seguin Capt. Matthew 
Caldwell raised a company of minute men for its protection and 
kept scouts out, especially west of the setltement. About this 
time Gen. Vincent Cordova, a disaffected Mexican who lived at 
Nacogdoches, left there with a motley crowd of Mexicans, run- 
away negroes, and Biloxi Indians, and started to Mexico, steal- 
ing horses as they went and committing other depredations. 
Their trail was discovered at the crossing of the Colorado by the 
scouts of Gen. Ed. Burleson, and he went in pursuit with his 
rangers. Cordova was overtaken in Guadalupe County, five 
miles east of Seguin, on Mill Creek, at a place now called Battle 
Ground Prairie. The impetuous charge of the rangers soon broke 
the formation of the enemy and they ran, firing as they went. 
Night put an end to the pursuit two miles south, in the edge of 
the Guadalupe bottom. How many were killed could not be 
ascertained. Three rangers were wounded, but none killed. Citi- 
zens of Seguin, among whom was the father of the writer, came 
out to the battleground next morning. The grass had been set 
on fire by paper wads from shotguns of some of Burleson's men, 
and had burned all over the country, exposing plainly to view 
several dead bodies. The fight commenced at the head of a ravine 
around which the Seguin road now runs near the Handley place. 
Here were the bodies of two dead Mexicans. About one hundred 
yards from these further south in the prairie lay two negroes, 
and an Indian with his head cut off was under a mesquite tree on 
the rising ground south of the road. The Mexicans and others 
of the band in their flight passed over the spot where now is the 
farm of Mr. Clay Butler. One old negro was captured and car- 
ried to Seguin, but was there shot on account of statements he 
made of killing white women and children. A young wounded 
negro was also taken. 

Cordova's band traveled up the west bank of the river after 
crossing, and at daylight came upon the Seguin scouts, members 
of Captain Caldwell's minute company. They were Milford Day, 
Tom Xichols, and David Eunnels. This was near Young's ford. 
The scouts made a fight, but were forced to leave their camp, 
losing everything, including horses and saddles, and Milford Day 



was badly wounded. His comrades, however, bore him to the 
river and secreted him under a bluff, and Tom Nichols then swam 
the river and went to Seguin after assistance. A cart was sent 
back strongly guarded, and Day brought in. Cordova was pur- 
sued to the Nueces River by citizens and rangers, but was not 
again overtaken. 

In 1840 the Comanche Indians, about 500 in number, made a 
raid through Texas and burned the town of Linnville, on the 
coast, a trading point on Lavaca Bay. Among the victims of 
this raid were Dr. Gray, Mr. McNuner, Vartland Richardson, 
Pinkney Caldwell, Major Watts, Mr. O'Neill, Dr. Bell, one Mexi- 
can, four negroes, and the infant of Mrs. Crosby. Besides those 
slain they carried off Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Watts, and a negro girl 
•as prisoners. Men rallied from every point to fight them on their 
return, and the battle took place at Plum Creek, now in Cald- 
well County. Among the Guadalupe (present limits) County 
men who helped to win the victory were James Nichols, Ben and 
Henry McCulloch, Ezekiel Smith, French Smith, Andrew Sowell, 
and Milford Day. James Nichols was wounded. During the 
battle Henry McCulloch and others rescued Dr. Switzer, who was 
surrounded by Indians and was helpless, on account of having 
one arm pinned to his side with an arrow. 

Among the men in the light from other places were Gen. Ed. 
Burleson, Gen. Felix Houston, Jack Hays, Gen. Matthew Cald- 
well. Clark L. Owens, Thos. W. Ward, W. B. Dewees, Col. John 
H. Moore, Monroe Hardeman. W. J. E. Wallace, Dr. Brown, 
Judge Clint C. De Witt, Aulcy Miller, Maj. A. S. Miller, Judge 
Bellinger, Dr. Switzer, Rev. Z. N. Morrell, Rev. R. E. B. Baylor, 
Rev. T. W. Cox, Ben Highsmith, Tom Galbreath, John Jenkins, 
and many others. 

At the commencement of the fight the Indians attempted to 
kill their prisoners. Mrs. Crosby was shot in the breast and soon 
expired, but not before her husband had dismounted by her side 
and soothed her last moments. Mrs. Watts was also shot in the 
breast, but the arrow, striking a steel corset which she wore, 
glanced and gave her a painful but not fatal wound. Her screams 
attracted Z. N. Morrell, the pioneer Baptist preacher, to the spot, 
who dismounted and attempted to withdraw the arrow, but was 
at first unsuccessful on account of the wounded lady holding on 
to it as if not being able to withstand the pain of having it with- 


drawn. About this time Dr. Brown of Gonzales came upon the 
scene, and while the preacher held the hands of Mrs. Watts the 
doctor removed the shaft. The Rev. Morrell then spread his 
blanket under a liveoak tree for her to recline upon, and she soon 
became composed. Near by was the body of the negro woman, 
who had also been killed. 

On one occasion, while Seguin was in the incipiency of its set- 
tlement, a band of Indians were running buffalo on the prairie 
north of town. The herd became scattered and one turned to- 
wards the river, pursued by several Indians. Now, Seguin was 
a small place at this time, and almost obscured from view under 
the liveoak trees along the spring branches, and probably the In- 
dians or buffalo were not aware of its existence. Be this as it 
may, however, they ran the buffalo into town, and one of them 
shot it with such force with an arrow that the spike came through 
the hide on the opposite side, having passed between the ribs. 
The Indians made no halt, but dashed on and crossed the river 
south of town. At this time there were no houses around the 
square, but the noise of the running brought several citizens out 
where they could see what caused the commotion, and beheld the 
Indian when he bent his bow, and with the spike almost touch- 
ing the side of the buffalo sent the arrow into him. Before a pur- 
suit could, be organized the Indians made their escape into the 
sandhills. The wounded buffalo ran around in a circle a few 
times, and then fell and. died near where the courthouse now 
stands, and was cut up and divided among the citizens. 

On September 11, 1842, the Mexicans under Gen. Adrian Wall 
very unexpectedly to the Texans advanced from Mexico and cap- 
tured San Antonio. The district court was in session, and the 
members were taken prisoners, among whom were Col. Andrew 
Xeill, of Seguin, and Eev. Gustav Elly, the latter a resident of 
the county for many years, and who died at Seguin at a very ad- 
vanced age. The news was carried swiftly from settlement to 
settlement, and once more the call to arms was sounded along 
the border to repel Mexican invasion. This call was, as ever, 
promptly obeyed by the brave pioneers of the Guadalupe. San 
Marcos, and Colorado valleys. Once more the gallant Hays, 
Caldwell, and others rallied their chosen scouts and rangers 
around them. Seguin was the place of rendezvous, and all night 
long before the start on the following morning men were busy 


making preparations to meet once more the dusky sons of Mexico 
on the field of battle. There was a scarcity of horses among the 
citizens of Segnin on account of a recent Indian raid, and men 
gave high prices for common Spanish ponies that would carry 
them to San Antonio. All through the night men were coming 
from the east. Eifles were cleaned and bullets moulded. Those 
that had no horses were trying to make trades for them, offering 
land or anything else almost three times the value of them. Two 
men fought over a stray horse which happened to be in town, 
until neither one was able to go. Enough of Guadalupe County 
men, however, got off to count in the news of the battle, which, 
as has been stated in other places, was fought on the Salado near 
San Antonio. The following men from Guadalupe County par- 
ticipated: Henry E. McCulloch, James H. Calahan, Ezekiel 
Smith, French Smith, Soloman Brill, Calvin Turner, William 
Turner, Hardin Turner, Andrew Sowell, T. N". Menter, Wilson 
Handle, Andrew Erskine, John P. Erskine, William King, John 
King, Milford Day, and probably some others who can not now 
be recalled. After the departure of Caldwell and his 200 men, 
when a sufficient time had elapsed the people at Seguin began to 
look anxiously for messengers from the scene of action. Only 
six years had elapsed since nearly that many had perished in the 
Alamo, and they had left home as light-hearted and as confident 
as those now under Caldwell. Once more the mothers and wives 
of the Guadalupe valley had to watch and wait, every minute 
expecting the messenger of death to dash in upon them bringing 
the sad news of defeat and slaughter like that which befell Travis 
and Fannin. They thought these fears were realized when 
Aulcy Miller rode into town, bareheaded, his horse covered with 
foam, a fugitive from Dawson's battlefield, and bringing the 
news of a most desperate fight, that nearly all of Dawson's men 
were killed, and that he and one other alone made their escape 
by hard and desperate riding. He knew nothing of Caldwell's 
men. They heard heavy firing in the direction of the creek, and 
were hurrying rapidly to their assistance, when they were sur- 
rounded by the whole Mexican army and cut to pieces. 

The father of the w^riter stood by Miller's panting horse and 
heard him tell the sad tale of Dawson's defeat. The Indians 
had stolen father's horse, and he could not go. Miller was badly 



sunburned, and father took a fine Mexican hat from his own head 
and placed it on that of Miller as a present. 

Xicholas Dawson was a lieutenant in the battle of San Jacinto, 
and fought in the front where men fell thick, and rejoiced with 
his comrades over the victory and the independence of Texas, and 
when the messenger came announcing another invasion, he rallied 
his neighbors around him and met his fate at the hands of his 
old enemies. On the way from Fayette County to join Caldwell, 
Dawson made his last camp on Nash's Creek, in what is now the 
lower edge of Guadalupe County. Here he met Caldwell's mes- 
senger urging every one forward, and hastened on, making an 
all-night ride. 

Here are the names of those who fell with him: Lieutenant 
Dickinson, Zodack Woods (80 years of age), — Church, Harvey 
Hall, Eobert Barclay, Wesley Scallorn, Eliam Scallorn. Asa 
Jones, Robert Eastland, Frank Brookfleld, George Hill, John W. 
Pendelton, J. B. Alexander, Edmond Timble, Charles Field, 
Thomas Simms. — Butler, John Dancer, and a negro man be- 
longing to the Mavericks. This negro was sent out by Mrs. Mav- 
erick to communicate with his master, who had been captured 
while attending court at San Antonio. He was faithful to his 
trust and fought bravely in the battle, dying by the side of Cap- 
tain Dawson. 


The bones of these brave men now rest on Monument Hill, op- 
posite La Grange, in Fayette County. The gallant patriots from 
the Colorado valley were ever ready to peril their lives in defense 
of their country, and there was hardly a battle fought in Texas 
where their blood did not stain the soil, and on this occasion, when 
the fiery Dawson came among them calling on them to rally to the 
defense of the "Lone Star," they seized their rifles and told him 
to lead the way, and rushed day and night to their death. 

Wilson Eandle, of Seguin, killed General Cordova in the battle 
on the Salaclo. Cordova had returned from Mexico with the army 
of General Wall to help chastise the Texans for his defeat at Mill 
Creek. Calvin Turner was the only man hurt from Seguin in 
the battle. He had a glancing shot from a musket ball on the 
side of the head. 

In 1843 Captain James H. Calahan raised a company of min- 
ute men for the protection of Guadalupe County, -which was con- 
stantly harassed by Indians and Mexican horsethieves. Now, 
before this time a Mexican named Flores had raised a band of 
robbers, and after committing some depredations between Seguin 
and San Antonio went on towards northern Texas to incite all 
the Indian tribes to make war on the Texans. The career of this 
freebooter, however, was short. He was pursued by Lieut. James 
0. Bice, of the rangers, and overtaken on the San Gabriel, about 
twenty miles from Austin. 

In the battle which ensued the Mexicans were defeated and 
Flores killed. Rice captured 300 pounds of powder, a quantity of 
lead, shot, and balls, and about 100 head of mules and horses. 

On the person of Flores were found papers and letters showing 
the grand scheme of the Mexicans of arousing and inciting all 
the border Indians to aid them in the war with Texas. 

Flores had messages from General Canalizo, of Matamoros, to 
the chiefs of the Caddoes, Seminoles, Biloxis, Cherokees, Kicka- 
poos, Brazos, Tehuacanas, and others. By concert of action, at 
the same time the Mexican army marched into San Antonio, the 
Indians were to light up the whole frontier with the flames of 
Texas dwellings and cause the very air to resound with cries of 
women and children. It was well for Texas at this time that 
she had a Hays, a McCulloch, a Burleson, a Caldwell, a Calahan, 
and a James O. Rice on her borders to hurl defiance to her thou- 
sands of foes, and who dared to lead where any dared follow. 


While Calahan was operating in Guadalupe County with his 
company, Jack Hays was on a scout in the Sabinal and Seco 
mountains with his men, and finding a large force of Comanches, 
sent for Captain Calahan to come and help him to fight them. 
Calahan took a portion of his men and went at once. He found 
Hays in the mountains at the head of the Sabinal River, and the 
Indians strongly posted on a high, rough mountain. Captain 
Hays and his men had one fight with them in the valley, in 
which sixteen of the Indians were killed, and they had retreated 
up the mountain. The combined force of the rangers assaulted 
their position and drove them off. The only casualties on the 
side of the white men was one of Hays' men wounded. Calahan, 
Ben McCulloch, and Andrew Sowell from Seguin were in the 
fight. McCulloch had a very long range gun, and did good ser- 
vice in picking off Indians from the crags and high places that 
others could not reach. 

Mr. H. Gr. Henderson, a resident of Guadalupe County, while 
in San Antonio soon after this learned that a band of horse- 
thieves had a hiding place near Seguin. He lost no time in com- 
municating the same to the ranger captain. The best scouts were 
sent out from time to time to get trace of them, but for some time 
were unsuccessful, but finally Milford Hay, who was a good 
trailer, located them in a dense thicket on York's Creek, about 
eight miles northeast from Seguin. This thicket was cut through 
by a deep gully near which was the camp of the robbers. 

Captain Calahan and a portion of his men approached on foot 
through the underbrush, often crawling upon their hands and 
knees, and succeeded in surprising them. The Mexicans, after 
hastily firing their escopets, scattered into the brush, and most 
of them escaped, the rangers only getting one fire at them. Two 
or three were killed and several wounded. The rangers returned 
to Seguin, but in a few days came back again to look around, and 
found a wounded Mexican at a spring. He was killed by one 
of Calahair's men. Xear the place was a round, rocky hill, with 
a grove of liveoaks growing on its crest, and there the Mexican 
was buried by the rangers, and to this day it goes by the name of 
the "Rogue's Grave,'' and the place where they fought is called 
"Rogue's Hollow." 

Soon after this two more Mexican horse-thieves were caught 
and brought in. By a vote they were condemned to be shot. They 




were executed and buried under some liveoak trees in the western 
portion of town, near the General Jefferson place. The members 
of Calahairs company who were present besides himself were Mil- 
ford Day, Calvin Turner, Andrew Sowell, John Sowell, Asa Sow- 
ell, John Nichols, and some others, likely. Calvin Turner was 
one of the four who did the firing. The Mexicans were made to 
dig their own graves by Captain Calahan. This fearless ranger 
captain saw the fearful butchery of Texans at Goliad, saw his 
comrades shot down right and left after they had surrendered, — 
men who had stood shoulder to shoulder with him and had fought 
as men seldom fight, and for nine long hours in an open prairie 
held an army at bay. 

During these years the Lipan Indians, then friendly, came 


from the Colorado valley and made their camp at the Walnut 
Springs by permission of the settlers. They went on many hunt- 
ing trips and often came in contact with the Comanches, their 
bitter enemies. On one occasion, while the tribe was camped 
here, one of their hunting parties had a fight with the Comanches 
up the river near where New Braunfels is, and defeated them, 
killing four. They returned with the scalps, and that night had 
a scalp dance in their camp at the springs, and invited the citi- 
zens of Seguin to witness it, which many of them did. 

At the* time of which we write Castro was head chief of the 
Lipans and Flacco was second chief. The latter delighted to 
accompany Jack Hays (one of the most famous Texas rangers 
that ever lit a camp fire on the frontier of Texas) against the 
Comanches, and fought bravely by his side on several occasions. 

Captain Hays was early identified with the people of Seguin, 
marrying a daughter of Major Calvert of this place, and was 
brother-in-law to Col. Thomas D. Johnson and Alfred Shelby of 
this place, who also married daughters of Major Calvert. One 
night in 1844, while a dance was in progress at the house of Mil- 
ford Day, near the Walnut Springs, a band of hostile Indians 
made a raid in the vicinity and attempted to carry off some 
horses. They were discovered by John E. King, who was on 
guard, and he fired on them. One of the Indians returned the 
fire, and then they all retreated. The alarm was soon given, and 
the dance came to an abrupt termination. The men at the dance 
all had their guns, and a party was soon mounted and in pursuit. 
They were William King, Henry King, John R. King, Andrew 
So well. Anderson Smith, Paris Smith, and Milford Day. The 
night was dark, and the settlers, after riding through the prairie 
for some time, and finding no clew to the whereabouts of the In- 
dians, repaired to the Three-mile waterhole. By this time a 
drizzling rain had set in, and they sat under the liveoak trees and 
held their horses by the bridles until morning. As soon as it was 
light enough they again set out in quest of the Indians, and 
found their trail near Plum Ridge. It led up the river, and the 
men followed rapidly and soon came upon them, as the Indians 
were on foot and twelve in number. The place was near Twelve- 
mile Spring in the prairie. Only one of the Indians carried a 
gun, and he dropped down in the grass and attempted to fire at 
William King and Anderson Smith, who were riding close to- 


gether. His gun failed to fire, and he was instantly killed, shot 
through the head by William King. A curious fight now com- 
menced. When the balance of the settlers attempted to fire all of 
their guns failed, and the Indians commenced yelling and shoot- 
ing arrows, but they fell harmless, having no force. The trouble 
was that the rain during the night had spoiled the caps on the 
guns of the white men, and had also wet the bowstrings of the 
Indians and they had relaxed, being made of sinews, and an ar- 
row could not be sent with any force. It was not far to the river, 
and the Indians soon ran in that direction, followed by the set- 
tlers, who put on fresh caps as they ran, and tried in vain to fire 
on them, but the tubes were stopped up from the damp friction 
of the inferior caps of those days, and it v r as no go. The In- 
dians would turn and make a weak discharge of arrows when the 
white men came too close, but no one was hurt. They could be 
warded off with arm, hat, or gun barrel. When the Comanches 
came to the river they plunged in and commenced swimming 
across, and the whack, whack, whack of snapping locks could be 
heard on every side as the settlers still continued to try their 
pieces. Presently bang went one gun, and an Indian sank, shot 
in the back of the head. William King had reloaded his gun, and 
coming up at this time had fired and killed another. The bal- 
ance all got over safely and soon disappeared in the bottom. The 
dead Indian in the prairie was scalped and his gun taken, and a 
return to Seguin was made. 

In 1845 Prince Solms Braunfels arrived at Seguin with Ger- 
man immigrants for Fisher and Miller's colony, but the Indians 
being so numerous and hostile in the country where the first in- 
tention was to settle (within present limits of Gillespie County), 
a large tract of land w T as purchased on the west bank of the Guad- 
alupe Eiver, at the mouth of the Comal, at the foot of the moun- 
tains, and here the colony was settled and their town named New 
Braunfels. This colony was not harassed as much by Indians 
as those further west, but they suffered all the privations and dis- 
comforts of subduing the wilderness and building up homes. 
Many of them were poor and had a hard struggle to succeed, but 
did so. Some became wealthy and all prospered, and there are 
no more thrifty people now than those of Comal County. 

From Seguin there was no road leading to the place of destina- 
tion of the colony, it being northwest from the San Antonio road 


up the river. All was prairie and grass. It was necessary to 
have a guide from there on, and Asa Sowell and Calvin Turner 
were employed by Prince Solms to pilot them through. They 
were acquainted with the fords of the Guadalupe, and could go 
straight across the prairie to the mouth of the Comal. Ferdnand 
Weyel, who lives on the Santa Clara, is one of the pioneers of that 
colon v, his father ha vino- built one of the first houses in New 

Guadalupe County. was organized in 184:6. The first officers 
were H. G. Henderson, chief justice ; Thomas H. Duggan, county 
clerk; Asa J. L. Sowell, district clerk; Milton Osborne, sheriff, 
and William G. King, assessor and collector of taxes. 

The first term of the district court was held in September, 
1846, at the residence of Mr. Paris Smith, afterwards known as 
the Rust place. Hon. William E. Jones w r as judge, Asa J. L. 
Sowell district clerk, John A. Green district attorney, Milton 
Osborne sheriff. The sitting of the grand jury was in the live- 
oak grove now inclosed in the yard of G. W. L. Baker. The fol- 
lowing are the names of the first grand jury : Paris Smith, fore- 
man ; Sam Towner, John F. Tom, S. R. Miller, Col. French 
Smith, G. W. Lonis, John W. Nichols, C. A. Smith, John Shef- 
field, Soloman G. Nichols, I. H. Turner, John N. Sowell, John 
R. King, Matthew A. Doyle, and Andrew J. Sowell, Sr. 

The first bill found was State v. William Baker, charged with 
theft of a hair brush. His sentence was to be publicly whipped 
in the square. This sentence was only partly carried out, so some 
of the old settlers say, by Col. French Smith coming on the scene 
when about five licks w r ere struck, and picking up a rock, told the 
man who was laying them on to desist. 

One of the grand jury, George Washington Lonis, was a vet- 
eran of San Jacinto, and was severely wounded in the breast on 
that occasion, as was also John F. Tom, who had a leg broken 
by a musket ball there. John Sowell, another one, w r as also in 
the battle of San Jacinto, and loaned a pistol to a man to shoot 
Santa Anna. Matthew Doyle was one of James Bowie's men in 
his terrible Indian battle near the San Saba gold mines. 

The first petit jury was as follows : Solomon W. Brill, fore- 
man ; Joseph Zorn, Jacob Eckstein. John Lowe, P. Medlin, W. 
B. Pinchard, William C. Winters, E. P. Forest, — Baker, Wil- 
liam Turner and W. Clark. 


In March of the previous year the Indians made a raid in the 
vicinity of Seguin and killed a Mexican named Verimendi near 
Ewing Springs. Most of the citizens were in Gonzales attending 
court. A severe norther and sleet came up soon after the killing 
and the settlers followed the trail of the Indians but a short dis- 
tance, as they were forced to return on account of the cold. 

Cottonwood Creek, which empties into the Guadalupe about 
three miles below Seguin, on the south side of the river, was 
known to the first settlers as "Shawnee Creek.*' It received this 
name from a circumstance which happened there before the white 
settlers came into the country. At that time the Comanches were 
very numerous in the Guadalupe valley above the forks, and the 
Shawnee Indians, a friendly tribe, lived in the white settlement 
near Gonzales. They often came up the river on hunting expedi- 
tions, and on one occasion encountered the Comanches, their bit- 
ter enemies, on the little creek now known as Cottonwood, about 
three miles above its mouth. A battle ensued, in which the Shaw- 
nees were defeated and two of their chiefs killed. In their retreat 
they carried off the bodies of the chiefs and buried them on a 
point that fronts on the river, a little below the mouth of the 
creek. White hunters from the settlement below also came up 
in here hunting and knew of the circumstance above mentioned, 
and called the place "Shawnee Creek." 

In 1847 a contract for building the first courthouse was let to 
Thomas D. Spain. It was a two-story frame building 30x50 feet. 
The upper loom was to be used as a courtroom; the lower part 
was divided into four rooms, for the chief justice, county and 
district clerks, and sheriff. 

Mrs. Mildred P. King was one of the noble pioneer women of 
Guadalupe County, and lost a son (William) at the storming of 
the Alamo. When General Wall captured San Antonio and the 
settlers there were hurrying to the front to repel the invaders, 
Lieut. H. E. McCulloch, of Hays' rangers, was riding night and 
day through the settlements notifying the settlers and urging 
everyone forward that was able to go. When he came to the 
house of Mr. King he said to him, "I know you are too old to go, 
but is there not some one on the place who could go ?" 

His only son old enough to bear arms was standing by im- 
patient for the answer, as the father hung his head in deep emo- 
tion. Mrs. King spoke up : "John might be spared from home a 


few days very well." The old man's eyes filled with tears as he 
said, "We lost William in the Alamo. Can we see John go, too ?" 
The mother said with a firm voice : " "lis true, William died in 
the Alamo, and we have no son to spare, hut we had better lose 
them all than our country." He went, and like a true son of the 
noble mother who had offered him, if need be, upon the altar of 
her country, he stood amidst the clash of arms and din of battle 
side by side with the descendants of the heroes of the Alamo 
and other citizens of the country, till victory perched upon the 
banner of the Lone Star on the bloody field of Salado. 

In 1855 the Indians made their last raid into Guadalupe 
County. They came along the western edge down the Cibolo 
valley and first stole some horses near the residence of James F. 
McKee. From there they went to the ranch of Mr. Robert Hell- 
mann, passing around his field near where New Berlin is now. 
The first victim at their hands was a negro belonging to Mr. 
Elam. Next they came across Mr. Pendleton Rector and Doc 
McGee, a young son of the Rev. John S. McGee, a Methodist 
preacher. They attempted to save themselves by flight, but the 
animal Mr. Rector rode fell with him and he narrowly made his 
escape into a thicket, the Indians getting his mare and saddle. 
Young McGee was riding a mule and fell an easy prey. He was 
roped, dragged to the ground, lanced and scalped. Mr. Rector 
got to the setlements and gave the alarm, and a runner was sent 
to Seguin. Capt. H. E. McCulloch called for volunteers to fol- 
low the Indians, and a general panic ensued among the people. 
Twenty-eight men rallied to McCulloch, among whom were John 
Ireland (afterwards Governor of the State), Rus. Hudson, D. C. 
Bledsoe. Sam Calvert, Frank Marshall, Nat Benton, and others. 
The Indians had a long start ahead, and were not overtaken. 

Xot long after this raid Capt. James H. Calahan got up an 
expedition into Mexico to chastise Indians over there who depre- 
dated on Texas. They had a hard battle and were compelled to 
cross the river. (See full account of this in another place.) 
Among those who went from Guadalupe County were Capt. Nat 
Benton, his son Eustus, Wesley Harris, Hughes Tom. John King, 
Henry King, and others. Captain Benton, Eustus Benton, and 
Henry King, Seguin men, were wounded. 

Some time after Calahan's expedition a freebooter named Cor- 
tinas invaded Texas with several hundred men and committed 


depredations along the Eio Grande. Captains Herron (from Se- 
guin), Tobin (from San Antonio), and others raised companies 
and marched against him. Among the Gnadalnpe men along 
were De Witt Petty, Luke Mayfield, John Mayfield, Hez. Wil- 
liams, and others. Cortinas was defeated near the Eio Grande 
and driven back into Mexico. At one point where the Mexicans 
had planted a cannon a sharp fight ensued. When the cannon 
was captured, De Witt Petty, from Seguin, mounted it, and, 
standing erect, clapped his arms to his side and crowed. 

Guadalupe County has had her statesmen. Arthur Swift and 
Ben McCulloch were in the Congress of the Eepublic in 1839 
and in the Legislature of 1845; Henry E. McCulloch in the 
Legislature of 1853 and in the senate from 1855 to 1859; 
Thomas H. Duggan in the senate previous to this; John E. King 
in the Legislature in 1855; I. V. Harris in 1857; W. H. Burges 
in the senate in 1882; M. D. Anderson of prior date; Middleton 
Dunn in the Legislature in 1866, as was also Captain Wm. M. 

At a later date P. S. Sowell was in the Legislature and Joseph 
B. Dibrell in the senate; James Greenwood, also in the Legisla- 
ture; John Ireland, twice elected Governor of the State — 1882 
and 1884. 

Guadalupe County has had her military men. Ben and Henry 
McCulloch were both generals in the Confederate army. William 
P. Hardeman, known in the army as "Old Goclv' lived in this 
county for many years. He commanded a company, and greatly 
distinguished himself at the battle of Val Verde, in New Mexico, 
and arose to rank of general in the Louisiana campaign. Capt. 
Nat Burton raised a company, arose to the rank of colonel, and 
lost an arm at the battle of Blair's Landing, in Louisiana. John 
P. Bane raised a company and arose to rank of colonel. John 
Ireland commanded a regiment, and John P. White a company. 


Col. John P. Bane, severely wounded at Gaines Mill. 
Thomas Cox, wounded at the second battle of Manassas. 
Andrew Herron, killed at Gettysburg. 
George Buttler, killed at Gettysburg. 


Levi MaddoXj captured at Missionary Ridge, and died in the 
Rock Island prison. 

Dolf Allen, died in a hospital on the Potomac. 

James Buttler, killed at Sharpsburg. 

Tar is Smith, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

Julius G lazier, severely wounded with a ball and bayoneted at 

Fritz Glazier (brother), killed at Chickamauga. 

R. J. Burges, desperately wounded with a grape shot at Manas- 
sas; same discharge killed Lieut. Ig. Johnson; R. A. Burges, 
wounded at the battle of the Wilderness. 

W. H. Burges, wounded at Sharpsburg. 

Lot Calvert, wounded at Gaines Mill, and died. 

James Campbell, died in service near Richmond, Va. 

John Davidson, killed at Gaines Mill. 

Tom Ewing, wounded at Gaines Mill, and died. 

Hat Franks, wounded at Chickamauga. 

Isham Fennell, killed at Gaines Mill. 

William Erringhaus, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

Middleton Dunn, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

Alonzo Gordon, wounded at Gaines Mill, and died. 

Scott Green, wounded at Gaines Mill and killed at Gettysburg. 

Andrew Erskine, killed at Sharpsburg. 

Albert Green, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

Fred Glazier, killed at Gettysburg. 

Austin Jones, wounded at Gaines Mill. ( He was the man that 
turned General Lee's horse around and led him back from the 
front at the Wilderness.) 

R. H. Jones, wounded at Manassas. 

John R. Jefferson, Jr., wounded at Manassas. 

James King, died in service. 

William Davis, killed at Sharpsburg. 

James Whitehead, killed at Manassas. 

Lieut. Tom Holoman, killed at Gaines Mill. 

Xapoleon Dimmit, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

James Dimmit, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

John Young, killed at Gaines Mill. 

James White, wounded at Gaines Mill and in several other 

William Harris, wounded at Cold Harbor. 


Nelson Mays, killed at Gettysburg. 

Lieut. Henry McClaugherty, severely wounded at the Wilder- 
ness and at Chickamauga. 

Frank Saunders, wounded at Gettysburg. 

Steward Sanders, died in the hospital at Fredericksburg. 

James Herron, died on the Potomac. 

John Smith, died on the Potomac. 

John Dibrell, died on the Potomac. 

John Miller, died in service. 

Ben Terrell, wounded at Sharpsburg. 

Eeason Lackey, killed at Gaines Mill. 

John Baker, wounded at the Wilderness. 

Eainey Brooks, died in prison at Springfield, 111. 

Lewis and William Smith, brothers, died in prison in Spring- 
field, 111. 

Abe White, killed at Chickamauga. 

Alex. Ochiltree, killed at Chickamauga. 

William Moltz, wounded in Georgia. 

John Donegan, wounded at Franklin, Tenn. 

Hale, wounded at Jonesborough. 

Adam Saunders, wounded at Chickamauga. 

Capt. Ed Thompson, killed at Franklin, Tenn. 

Zeke Smith, died at Eichmond, Ya. 

Tom Smith, died in service. 

Capt. Dudley Jeffries, wounded at Manassas. 

Lieutenant Eichards, killed at Gaines Mill. 

Leonidas Millett, killed at Gaines Mill. 

Alex. Wilson, wounded at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and at 

W. W. Wilson, wounded at Gaines Mill. 

Mike Eogers, died at Fredericksburg, Va. 

John King, wounded at . 

Henry King, wounded at . 

Frank Newton, wounded at Chickamauga. 

Glawson, killed at Chickamauga. 

Tom Watson, killed at Chickamauga. 

A. J. Cody, killed at Chickamauga. 

Dovie, killed at Chickamauga. 

George White, wounded at Val Verde, N". M. 

Henry Many, wounded at Val Verde. 


Colyer Allen, died and was buried at "Dead Man's Hole," in 
the edge of the Staked Plains. 

George Turner, died at Albuquerque, N. M. 

Pendleton Francis, killed at Franklin, La. 

Aaron Ferguson, wounded at Cheyneville, La. 

Martin Rogers, wounded at Franklin, La. 

"William Ferguson, wounded at Val Verde, N. M. 

Robert Ferguson, killed at Mansfield, La. 

Austin Ferguson, wounded at Mansfield, La. 

James Sowell. accidentally wounded after Yellow Bayou fight, 
in Louisiana. 

Bud Pearman, died near Fort Thorn, N. M. 

Col. Xat Benton, severely wounded at Blair's Landing, La. 

Fritz Suchart, leg torn off at Atlanta or Peach Tree Creek, 
Ga. ; same shell killed Bates, Pace, and Alfred Alexander. 

Henry Roemel, died in prison at Springfield, 111. 

Swan, died in prison at Springfield, 111. 

Sawney Calvert, killed at Blair's Landing, La. 

Lochard Arbuckle, wounded at Saline Creek, Ark. Marlin 
Heflin passed by where he was lying wounded with others under 
a tree, and gave him his blanket and $5 in money. 

Lieut. Norvel Cartwright, killed in Louisiana. 

Henry Nicholson, died at Ringgold Barracks, on the Rio 

Dr. George Francis, died at Galveston. 

George Sanders, died in Virginia. 

Victor Stein, wounded at Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Joe Francis, killed at Gaines Mill. 

Sam Herron, wounded at Stone River. 

Gustav Werner, killed at Blair's Landing. 

Henry Brands, died at Jones' Bayou, La. 

William Scull, killed at Murfreesboro. Tenn. 

Most of these men belonged to the famous Fourth Texas, and 
followed Hood in all of his battles. They were the flower of the 
country and the bravest of the brave. 




From the year 1832 to 1835, while numerous disturbances 
were going on in eastern Texas, and collisions taking place be- 
tween Mexican and American settlers, especially around Yelasco 
and Nacogdoches, and the war cloud just then visible in the 
east, but which was soon to spread from the Sabine to the Eio 
Grande, or vice versa, leaving desolation in its path, De Witt's 
colony at Gonzales on the Guadalupe River had just begun to 
flourish. Numerous accessions of settlers had arrived and the 
population largely increased in and around the town. Indians 
were hostile and numerous in the west, and committed many 
depredations. Some of the colonists had settled a considerable 
distance west of Gonzales, and bore the same relation to people 
in town as the advance guard to an army. As the Indians gen- 
erally came in from the west, these isolated settlers received the 
first blowi, and then on swift horses alarmed the people further 
east of the approaching raid. Some had settled as far west as 
the present town of Seguin, but had returned, not being able to 
sustain themselves so far out. In the spring of 1835, or about 
that time, as near as we can get the record now, there lived an 
outside settler named John Castleman. His ranch was fifteen 
miles west from Gonzales in the Guadalupe valley, on the south 
side of the river. 

One evening just before sundown there stopped at his house a 
French merchant or peddler named Greser, accompanied by ten 
Mexicans as guards. He had a large lot of costly goods which he 
was going east to sell, probably having purchased them in Mexico. 
Castleman lived on what was called the "Old San Antonio road,"' 
the main traveled route from San Antonio to eastern Texas. The 
merchant in question inquired of the settler as to a good camp- 
ing place for the night, where there was wood and water. Castle- 
man informed him that there was a large pool of water not far 
from the house, and pointed towards it, but at the same time 
remarking, "You had better camp here by my yard. I have 
plenty of wood and water, and you can get all you want. The 
Indians are very hostile now, and they might attack you before 


morning ; there is no telling. You will be safe here, for my house.' 
is surrounded by strong palisades, and. in case of danger you can 
come inside, and I will help to defend yourself and property/' 
The Frenchman thanked him very politely for his proffered hos- 
pitality and protection, but declined, saying his men were well 
armed, and would go down and camp by the pool of water. 

Castleman made everything secure for the night and retired. 
Just before daylight next morning he was awakened by the firing 
of guns and the yelling of Indians in the direction of the French- 
man's camp. He instantly sprang out of bed, hastily clothing 
himself, unbarred a small window, and looked out. Day was 
just beginning to dawn, and by this time the fight was raging at 
the peddler's camp. The Mexicans seemed to be making a stout 
defense. The loud reports of their escopets continually ringing 
out on the morning air mingled with the yelling of the Coman- 
ches. The sun arose, but still the Mexicans kept them at bay. 
Castleman stood at the window with his long rifle and several 
times expressed an intention of trying to get to them and aid in 
the battle, but it was too hazardous, and he could only watch and 
wait and see how it would terminate. The Indians would make 
a charge, but being repulsed each time with loss, would fall back 
and wait some time before renewing the contest. The Mexicans 
had made breastworks of their carts, saddles, bales of goods, etc. 
This accounts for the length and obstinacy of the battle, consid- 
ering the numbers engaged, for the Comanches had seven to one 
of the Mexicans. At this time there had been no rupture between 
the Mexicans and De Witt's colonists, and Castleman would have 
risked his life in their defense, as the Comanches were the foes 
of both Mexican and Texan. The latter was hid from view dur- 
ing the fight, but the Indians could be plainly seen, being between 
the house and the encampment. The fight was going on at the 
base of the elevated ground on which the settler's cabin stood. 
The pool of water was near a mott of timber, in which the Mex- 
icans were posted. The Indians often changed their position, and 
were very numerous. 

About one hundred and fifty yards from the house, at the 
foot of the hill, there stood a, large tree upon which Castleman 
had tacked a piece of white paper to serve as a target when he 
felt disposed to rifle practice. This paper caught the eye of an 
Indian as he was scouting around, and he came to the tree for 


the purpose of seeing what it was. ' The settler saw him and at 
once raised his rifle, as this was too good a chance to lose of kill- 
ing an Indian. His prudent wife, however, laid her hand on the 
gun and begged him to desist, saying the Indians might go away 
and not molest them if he would not take a hand. The Indian 
did not long remain a target for the pioneer, for as soon as he 
discovered several bullet holes in and around the paper on the 
tree a revelation came to him, and he turned and looked towards 
the house, and seeing Castleman at his window beat a hasty re- 
treat, using the tree for cover as he went. 

The fight lasted until about 10 o'clock, and by that time the 
Mexican force seemed to be greatly reduced or else their ammuni- 
tion was failing. Only an occasional shot could be heard. The 
Indians now assembled their whole force and charged on three 
•sides at once and entered their position. Castleman could tell 
this from their great yelling and the direction their voices came 
from. The position the Mexicans occupied could be located by 
the smoke from their guns, which drifted above the treetops. 
Evidently a short hand-to-hand conflict took place, then all was 
still for an hour or more. The Indians were then discovered in 
long single file coming towards the house. It was a trying time 
for the lone pioneer, not knowing what their intentions were, but 
he consoled himself, like many had done before him and since, 
with the grim satisfaction of knowing that if they attacked him 
he would get as many of them as they did of him. The Coman- 
ches, however, had enough fighting for that day, and rode slowly 
past the house and shook their lances at it. There were eighty of 
them, and they had their own horses and those of the Mexicans 
which had not been killed or crippled in the battle, laden with the 
Frenchman's goods. The bloody scalps of the slain men were also 
visible. They had no firearms, it seemed, except those taken from 
the Mexicans, and likely no ammunition for them, as none of 
these were used in the battle which followed with the settlers from 
De Witt's colony. They had bows and lances. 

As soon as Castleman was satisfied they Avere gone he went 
and examined the battleground. The Mexicans had arranged 
their carts in a circle and piled up goods and saddles and chunks 
of wood in the spaces between carts and wheels and spokes, and 
here in a small compass the eleven bodies lay horribly mutilated 
and drenched in blood. Many arrows were in the trees and carts, 


and several broken guns were there. The Indians evidently lost 
heavily, as the blood stains on the ground away from the carts 
indicated, but they had thrown their dead in the waterhole. 

When Castleman returned to his house he mounted himself 
and family on ponies and hastened to Gonzales with the news. 
It spread rapidly, and before morning twenty-seven men were in 
their saddles and on their way to the Castleman ranch. From 
Mr. David Darst, of Gonzales, who was a boy at the time and 
saw them start, I obtained the following names of the men whom 
he remembered were present : Gen. Matthew Caldwell ( "Old 
Paint"), James C. Darst, Dan McCoy, Ezekiel Williams, B. D. 
McClure, John Davis, Tom Malone, — White, Jesse McCoy, 
Washington Cottle, Almon Dickinson, Dr. James Miller, An- 
drew J. Sowell, Sr., and John Castleman. The balance of the 
names can not now be ascertained. 

B. D. McClure was elected captain, and the party, pushing 
rapidly forward, soon arrived at the scene of the massacre. Only 
a short halt was made here and the trail taken up, which led up 
the Guadalupe valley on the south side of the river. Ten miles 
west the Indians turned north and crossed the Guadalupe Kiver 
at a place afterwards known as "Erskine's Ford," in the present 
limits of Guadalupe County, and distant about twelve miles be- 
low the present town of Seguin. After crossing Darst Creek 
about twenty-six miles from Gonzales, just below where the ranch 
of Col. French Smith afterwards was, the Indians amused them- 
selves by unwinding spools of thread across the level flats, likely 
tying the ends to their horses 7 tails. They did not seem to ap- 
prehend pursuit. 

After passing through this part of the country they bore to 
the northwest, passing out near the head of Mill Creek and cross- 
ing the York's Creek divide. The pursuing party would camp as 
soon as night came, and then be off again as soon as it was light 
enough to see the trail. The Indians were traveling slower than 
the white men on account of their heavily loaded horses, but they 
moved on sometimes in the night, and thus had the advantage, as 
the settlers could only trail in daylight. Two ravens followed in 
the wake of the Indians, picking up the offal from their camps, 
and would fly up and follow on at the approach of the white men. 

One night when the trailers were camped near the York's 
Creek divide Andrew Sowell, who was a good scout and trailer, 


left the camp and went some distance and remained alone on a 
ridge, listening, and while doing so his quick ear caught a far-off 
sound like Indians singing. The captain was informed of this 
fact and went out and listened, but could hear nothing, and sup- 
posed it was coyotes. 

By daylight next morning they were again on the trail, and 
in about two miles came to the Indian camp, in the midst of 
which stood a pole. The camp was on a high ridge, south of and 
overlooking the present town of San Marcos, in Hays County. 
The grass was tramped down around the pole in, a circle where 
the Indians had performed the scalp dance the night before. 
As they always sing when engaged in this merry-making, it 
proved beyond a doubt that the scout was right in his assertions 
that he heard Indians singing. The sound of the voice in their 
frenzied screechings would float a long distance on the still night 

From here the Indians went to the foot of the mountains and 
entered them, and the pursuit was still continued. The trailing 
was now more difficult, and that night Captain McClure and his 
men camped in the brakes of the Blanco River. Next morning 
was foggy, and they moved with great caution. The signs in- 
dicated that they were close upon the Indians. As they were 
going down into the valley of the Blanco the fog lifted, and soon 
the yelling of an Indian was heard on a mountain across the 
river. He had been placed there as a spy, and was giving the 
alarm of the approach of the white men to his comrades in the 
valley below. Captain McClure, knowing that he was now dis- 
covered, ordered a rapid advance, but they soon entered such 
a dense cedarbrake that they were compelled to abandon their 
horses and proceed on foot. Almon Dickinson and James Darst 
were sent ahead to locate the Indians, and the others slowly fol- 
lowed in single file, stooping and crawling as they went. Finally 
they came out into an opening near the river where three or four 
could walk abreast, and at this instant bang ! bang ! came the 
sharp report of two rifles and the yelling of Indians near at hand. 
"Charge up, boys I" shouted McClure, as he sprang in front. 
"Here they are \" The two scouts were now seen running back, 
closely pursued by several Indians, who were pulling arrows and 
adjusting them to their bowstrings. The captain and others 
raised their rifles, but could not shoot without endangering the 


lives of Darst and Dickinson, who were directly between them 
and the Indians. They saw this, and sprang to one side, and 
gave them a chance to fire. Captain McClure shot first and 
killed the foremost Indian. John Castleman shot the next one 
and he fell across the body of the first, being directly behind him. 
Several shots were fired, and a third Indian had his bow stick 
shot in two while in the act of discharging an arrow. Andrew 
Sowell attempted to fire with a flintlock rifle, but it flashed in 
the pan. He had stopped up the touch-hole to keep the powder 
dry in the fog, and had forgotten to take it out. The other In- 
dians now ran back towards the river, yelling loudly. By this 
time most of the men had gotten clear of the brush and charged 
with McClure across the open ground. 

Near the river they met about fifty Indians, and the fight be- 
came general. The yelling of the Comanches almost drowned 
the report of the firearms, and echoed far up and down the 
Blanco valley. The Indians soon gave way and commenced 
crossing the river. Some had been engaged trying to cross the 
goods over while the fight was going on, and partly succeeded. 
They had camped here near the water on the east or south bank 
the previous night. Another fight took place at the river, some 
of the Indians stopping in the water to shoot, but they soon re- 
tired before the rifles, and all went across and disappeared in the 
brake beyond. Andrew Sowell killed one after they got over. 
He tried to cross lower down than the balance, and came in con- 
tact with a steep bank on the opposite side which he could not 
hastily climb, and was discovered and shot. He rolled back to 
the edge of the water. None of the white men crossed the river. 

None of the settlers were killed, and those wounded with ar- 
rows were not badly hurt. The Indians made a very poor fight 
and seemed badly rattled at the very commencement, shooting 
wild and running at every volley from the whites. They had 
evidently exhausted most of their arrows in the fight with the 
Mexicans. Those killed had but very few in their quivers, and 
some even had none. 

A return was now made by the settlers back to their horses, 
which were found all right, except one which had gotten away 
and gone on the back track out of the valley, but was recovered. 
One man was also missing, and a search was made for him, think- 
ing he was killed somewhere, but without success. Finally he 


came to them, as one of them afterwards expressed it, "looking 
as wild as a buck.'' He had neither hat, gun, nor shoes, and 
seemed to be perfectly bewildered, and could give no rational 
account of himself. He said he could not stand the firing and 
yelling, and ran and kept running until it was all over. He 
could give no account of his gun or shoes. The latter were found 
at the river, almost in the edge of the water, below the battle- 
ground. The gun or hat could not be found. 

The settlers carried their horses back to the river and loaded 
theim with goods, but could not take them all, and left the re- 
mainder piled up on the bank of the river, with bows, shields, 
blankets, and buffalo skins. The return to Gonzales was made 
without further incident. A party afterwards went back to bring- 
away the balance of the goods, but they were badly damaged by 

Matthew Caldwell took part in many battles. He was a mem- 
ber of the Santa Fe expedition in 184-3, and was captured with 
his son Curtis and others and carried to Mexico and confined 
with the Mier prisoners. Caldwell County was named for him. 
He was called "Old Paint" on account of his having gray spots 
in his black hair. Almon Dickinson was the Lieutenant Dick- 
inson that perished in the Alamo with Travis, and father of the 
famous character known in Texas history as the "Babe of the 
Alamo." She was an infant in her mother's arms in the fort 
during the terrible conflict. 



in 1897 the writer, while circulating around the old historic 
place of D'Hanis, found many interesting old settlers. Among 
these were the Kochs, Saatoff, Enderle, Wolf, Richarz, Judge, 
Miller, Keys, Rothes, Fingers, and many others. 

The Xey family, who came here at an early day, are related 
to Xapoleon's great field marshal of that name. John Xey, 
grandfather of the younger ones here, was present at the battle 
of Waterloo. On the morning of that famous battle Marshal 
Xey was sitting on his horse listening to the roll call and heard 
the name of Xey, and a man answered to it in the ranks. He at 
once rode up and asked the man where he was from and who his 
people were. On the information being given, the marshal said, 
"You are my nephew." This was John Xey, ancestor of the Xeys 
who now reside in Medina County. John Xey was in all the 
desperate fighting that day at Waterloo, and charged repeatedly 
with the troops led by the marshal. Of the large company to 
which Mr. Xey belonged, and with whom he fought that day, 
only seventeen came out alive. They were engaged from early in 
the morning until about 3 o'clock in the evening, when Marshal 
Blucher came upon the scene with 50,000 fresh troops to the aid 
of the English commander, Lord Wellington. The French army 
ihen went to pieces, and the rout commenced. 

The Waterloo veteran, John Xey, had three sons — Joseph. 
John, and Xicholas — and two daughters, Elizabeth and Angelina. 
Elizabeth married Mr. Zurcher, and Angelina Mr. Herbert Wey- 
nand. Of the boys, John was killed by Indians on Black Creek, 
in Medina County, and Xicholas died at Fort Lincoln, on Seco, 
two miles from D'Hanis. Joseph Xey had four sons — Joseph, 
John, Antone, and Henry. Joseph is now and has been for many 
years sheriff of Medina County, and lives at Hondo City, the 
county seat. John lives at Xew D'Hanis, and Henry at the old 
town of the same name. The writer was shown a bronze medal 
by Johnnie Xey which was given to their grandfather, John Xey, 
by the French government on account of his relationship to their 
great field marshal, and for services at Waterloo. On one side of 
the medal is an image of Xapoleon, and the date of his death on 


the other. This medal is prized very highly by the Ney family. 
The Ney boys, except the sheriff, are engaged in farming, stock 
raising, etc. John has a gin at D'Hanis, and Antone is on a 
ranch in the mountains on Parker's Creek. 

Another old pioneer of D'Hanis is Mrs. Caroline Brotze. She 
was born in AYurtemburg, Germany, and came to America, land- 
ing at New York in 1849. The trip across the ocean was very 
slow, consuming six weeks. She came to Texas in 1850, and 
first lived on the Cibolo and then on the Salado, coming to the 
Seco in 1856 and settling where she now lives, abont.a mile north 
of New D\Hanis. Mrs. Brotze has had some interesting expe- 
riences on the frontier. Many times has she moulded bullets 
for her husband and other men to fight the Indians, and pre- 
pared narrow strips of greased cloth to patch the bullets with. 
Her husband was a ranger, and on one occasion captured an In- 
dian girl and brought her to Fort Lincoln and gave her to the 
commander, Captain Oakes. Many times the people suffered for 
bread, and her husband, who died several years ago, went to Mex- 
ico after flour. The flour was high-priced, dark, and hardly fit 
to eat, and Mrs. Brotze does not believe it was made from wheat. 
It tasted, she says, like it had cinnamon bark in it. 

On one occasion the men caught up with a band of Indians who 
had stolen a lot of horses, and recaptured them and returned to 
D'Hanis, putting the stock in a pen in the rear of Ney's saloon 
for the night. The Indians followed the settlers, and during the 
night succeeded in getting the horses again and carrying them 
off. They were again pursued, stock retaken, and brought back ; 
but this time a stricter watch was kept over them. 

Old Fort Lincoln, which has been referred to several times in 
these sketches of the pioneers, was not named for President 
Abraham Lincoln, as many might suppose, but for General Lin- 
coln, of Revolutionary fame, who took a prominent part in the 
battle of Monmouth and many other engagements. He was an 
able ofncer and had the respect and confidence of General Wash- 
ington. The fort was erected lono- before Abraham Lincoln 
came into any prominence. It is built of rock, and is still stand- 
ing. Many young officers have been inside its walls while on duty 
in the Southwest, who espoused different sides when the great 
civil war burst upon the land, and fought each other. 



Settled in 1846. 

There is in Medina County, near the line of the Sunset, or 
Southern Pacific Railroad, fifty miles west from San Antonio, 
a very interesting and historical place called "Old D'Hanis/' set- 
tled in 1846 by German colonists. Among the very few now left 
of the first settlers is Mr. Christian Batot (pronounced Bah-do), 
who was yonng at the time and can tell many stirring incidents 
of that time, being well informed and having a bright and re- 
tentive memory. He was born in Alsace, near the town of Col- 
mer. capital of Upper or Northern Alsace, in 1838. This country 
at that time belonged to France. 

In 1846 Henry Castro came through that country represent- 
ing an immigration company for America. The land upon which 
the colony was to be planted was in the wilds of western Texas. 
Each immigrant who was head of a family was to receive 320 
acres of land, and each single man was to receive 160 acres. The 
conditions were that each colonist was to pay 260 francs from 
fifteen years and upwards, and those under that age half price. 
For this sum per head the company agreed to deliver them at 
their destination, food, etc., furnished. To these hardy Germans 
who dwelt in Alsace and other parts of the adjacent country this 
seemed to be a fine opening to secure good homes at small cost. 
That amount of land in the country where they lived would be a 
small fortune, and it was worth the attempt to brave the dangers 
of the ocean and all other hardships to obtain it. Castro was 
very successful in his mission, and soon obtained three shiploads 
of colonists, amounting to about 1000 persons of all ages. The 
vessels set sail from Antwerp on the 1st day of August, 1846, 
and many long and last looks were cast back at the fast receding 
shores of the old country. The time consumed in crossing the 
ocean was ninety-two days, and on the 10th of December they 
landed at Galveston, Texas. The ship in which Mr. Batot came 
was the Herratzes. 

The colonists had paid their fare to Castroville, another col- 
ony of Henry Castro which had preceded them and had made 


their settlement on the Medina River, twenty-five miles west 
from San Antonio. 

The land of this second colony had not yet been surveyed or 
their town of D'Hanis laid off, so they had to remain at Castro- 
ville until a surveying party could go out and do the work. When 
the time came for the lots in town to be drawn, old man Batot, 
father of Chris, went out, and being satisfied with the situation, 
drew his lots, which consisted of one building lot and one twenty- 
acre farming lot. When Mr. Batot came back to Castroville he 
said to his family, "Well, I am going out to our land now to fix 
a home, and will take Chris along to cook." When everything 
was ready the old man took his provisions, bedding, and tools 
on his back, and Chris took a pick, and they walked from Castro- 
ville out to the new town, the distance being about thirty miles, 
with no road except the trail of the surveyor's wagon through the 
high grass. The town was laid off on a high prairie about two 
miles east of the Seco Creek, on a bold-running but small creek. 
The land was black, very rich, and covered with rank sedge grass. 
One drawback which confronted the men who were trying to 
build homes for their families was the want of building material. 
The only chance was short mesquite pickets, which grew in the 
valley near the Seco. Some of these were six feet long and some 
only four feet. These were set in an upright position, making 
a pen, and others tied together at the top and slanting both 
ways, so as to make the frame for a roof, and then covered with 
the long grass of the prairie. For a door a kind of framework 
was made of small poles, and then the grass worked in and out 
to close up the spaces, and then fastened to one end of the 
shanty. In constructing these rude shelters it was all done with- 
out a nail or any kind of metallic substance in its structure. 
Some only slanted the roof one way, letting the ends of the poles 
. rest on the ground, and then digging a hole inside to make the 
roof high enough so that a man could stand erect inside of it. 

Of all the vast throng who started from the old country to 
obtain a home here, anly twenty-nine families succeeded in ar- 
riving and finally settling. They were scattered from the coast 
to Castroville, some stopping in San Antonio and various other 
towns and settlements. When the families came out they had 
poor transportation, and came out slowly from Castroville. They 
came by the surveyor's trail through the high grass across the 


prairie, and saw many deer and wild mustang horses. The fam- 
ilies did not all come out at once from Castroville, and up to the 
19th of March six families were still behind. The lack of pro- 
visions was keenly felt in this far-away frontier country, and 
the colonists had no money. On the day of the above date the 
colonists were surprised and somewhat frightened to see seventy- 
two painted Comanche Indians ride into the settlement. They 
carried a white flag, however, and the little German children 
and women stood and looked in wonder and astonishment at the 
strange, painted men. The Indians all carried shields, bows, 
and arrows, and each one had two horses, making quite a for- 
midable appearance. These Indians brought a letter from the 
Indian agent at Fredericksburg, stating that they were not ene- 
mies to white people. They also said if they were Mexicans they 
would not let them settle here. These Indians showed their 
friendship and good will to the white men by taking all the pro- 
visions the poor colonists had, which was not much, and then tak- 
ing their departure. 

After they had gone old man Batot said to his son, "Chris, here 
is a little meal left ; make some mush and we will eat it up." 
While the mush was making the Indians came back, and some 
of them stood around Batot's fire and watched the mush cook. 
Finally one of them took out a little sugar which he had robbed 
a settler of, and putting it into the mush stirred it up. Mr. Batot 
thought the Indian was going to fix it up good for him and 
Chris, but when it was cooked sufficient, the Indians lifted it 
from the fire and ate it all themselves. The colonists had placed 
a white flag on the D'Hanis hill to the south, near the settle- 
ment, to guide any lost settler back home, and the Indians finally 
all went up there to look at it. From this elevated position they 
discovered some immigrant wagons coming containing six fam- 
ilies, the last of the original twenty-nine families which com- 
posed the first settlers. The Indians now turned east down the 
hill and met the wagons and stopped them, but did not molest 
anyone. In this party was Mrs. Batot, who up to this time had 
remained in Castroville. When the Indians rode up to the wag- 
ons there was a young woman in one of them named Josie Eut- 
inger, who was dying, having been taken sick by the way. This 
family had a hard time of it. One of their horses gave out, and 
they had to unload their wagon at a place now called "Finger 


Hill." The load which they had to leave consisted of trunks 
containing all their earthly possessions of value, and they left 
one of the Kutinger girls only 14 years old to watch them. The 
wagons then slowly moved on, trying to get to the setlement with 
the dying girl. Three miles further the team gave out entirely, 
and they had to send to the settlement and get the Castro oxen, 
as they were called, as they had been furnished by him for their 
use. AVhen the oxen were brought and hitched in, the wagon 
moved on again, and about midnight arrived at their destination, 
and just as they did so the sick young lady died, and was the 
first one buried at D'Hanis. 

Can anyone imagine the feelings of the little sister left alone 
six miles back on the prairie with the trunks ? Night soon closed 
clown around her. The range of mountains to the north faded 
from sight. One by one the stars came out and commenced their 
ceaseless twinkling. The night wind stirred the tall grass around 
her, and anon the distant bark of the coyote was heard. Alone 
on the prairie, far in advance of civilization, with roving bands 
of Comanches not far away ! No doubt her mind as she kept the 
solitary vigils of the night went back to the old home across the 
ocean, — the preparations to embark; the talk of the new home 
in the far distant country; the long, tedious voyage, and the joy 
at sight of land, the place where they were to find a beautiful 
home; the disappointment on landing; the long distance yet to 
go by land towards the setting sun, most of the way on foot, fol- 
lowing the slow, heavy-laden wagons, and on and on to the pres- 
ent night, — nearly there, but left alone, and her sister dying in 
the wagon ahead. This is no overdrawn picture. Next morning 
a party came back with a wagon and got the trunks and little 
girl and brought them on to the settlement, and that evening the 
dead sister was buried. 

The place where the little girl was left, called "Finger Hill," 
was named for Mr. Joseph Finger, who camped there and cut 
grass to cover his house. It is near the present town of Hondo 
City. The little girl lived to be an old lady, and died at D'Hanis 
in 1893. 

We can hardly realize now what these early settlers had to 
endure while trying to subdue the wilderness and build up and 
provide homes for their families. They had no money, and here 
they stayed six months alone, cut off from the rest of civilization,, 


not a house west of them in Texas, and none for many miles 
oast. Corn was $6 per bushel, and no mills to grind it on ex- 
cept by hand. The turfy soil was hard to subdue with insufficient 

plows and teams. Game was plenty, hut these people were not 
hunters. They had no gnus suitable to kill large game. Some 
few brought small bird guns from the old country, and those that 
had guns that they could kill a deer with soon exhausted their 
ammunition, which was high, and they had no money to buy any 
more. They deserve more credit than the American pioneers. 
The latter came from States where they were used to hunting 
game, brought good rifles with them, and w r ere at home in the 
forest or on the plains. On the other hand, the Germans came 
from towns and thickly settled districts, and knew nothing about 
camp life or living in the woods and shooting wild game. 

At last, however, relief came. One evening a band of Texas 
rangers arrived in the settlement and w r ent into camp on the 
Seco two miles from town. They were commanded by Capt. 
Tom Eife, and were sent here to protect these isolated settlers, 
as Indian friendship did not last long. The rangers had good 
guns and plenty of ammunition, and not only gave them ample 
protection, but killed game of various kinds and brought to them. 
The Delaware and Lipan Indians also came and traded w T ith 
them until the latter became hostile. The Delawares lived over 
in the Guadalupe valley, near where Comfort is now, but there 
were no settlers there then. The Lipans were on the Francisco. 
One day a discharged ranger named Sam West came to DTIanis 
from below and got some men from the rangers and w r ent to the 
Lipan camp and arrested some of them, stating that they had 
killed a man in Quihi, a new settlement of Germans fifteen miles 
below, and had robbed him and carried off a girl 16 years old. 
The girl got away before they carried her far, and that night 
got back home. West found one camp of the Lipans at the Co- 
manche waterhole and carried them to Quihi to see if the young- 
woman could identify any of them, which some say she did. ? 
pointed out one, and the men killed the Indian and carried the 
balance to San Antonio and turned them over to the authorities. 
This young girl, as the ranger West called her, was Mrs. Char- 
obiny, and she had been married three months. The man killed 
was her brother, Bias Meyer. 

In 1849 a company of United States regular troops came and 


went into camp in tents two miles from D'Hanis, and good times 
began to come to the colonists. The rangers had been ordered 
elsewhere or disbanded before the re